9: Portrait of the Alcoholic with Withdrawal

December 6, 2018 · 5:00
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Portrait of the Alcoholic with Withdrawal
by Kaveh Akbar

everyone wants to know
           what I saw on the long walk
away from you

                       I couldn’t eat
           and didn’t sleep
                       for an entire week

I can hardly picture any of it now
           save the fox I thought
was in the grass but wasn’t

                       I remember him quiet
           as a telescope
                       tiny as a Plutonian moon

everything else
           was wilding around us
the sky and the wind

                       the riptides and
           the rogue comet
                       blasting toward earth

do you remember this
           I introduced myself
by one of the names

                       I kept back then
           the fox was so still
                       I could have called him anything


“Portrait of the Alcoholic with Withdrawal” from “Calling a Wolf a Wolf” by Kaveh Akbar. Copyright © 2017 Alice James Books.