i take another beer out
of the refrigerator
and drink it
i shouldn’t be taking these beers
because they are for holiday guests.
the apartment is a wreck.
i do not know how to clean.
i do not know how to entertain.
i’ve already had to replace
half of the holiday wine we bought
because my wife and i drank it
sitting on the couch
complaining about how
we don’t know how to clean
about how we don’t know how
i get drunk and i blame her family
for making ten of us get together
for dinner on black friday
she gets drunk and blames my parents
for staying with us for three days
in our cramped apartment.
i accuse her of spending
too much money on trifles
and she accuses me of not liking
the brand new cranberry colored tablecloth.
it would be easier to just slit
our wrists now
rather than go through with any of this.
but we don’t.
my wife and i are survivors
of this holiday bullshit
suffering the good will of the many
as we get drunk on wine
suffering the laughter and the conversation
the inquiry about jobs
and people talking about
their mundane lives
as if each moment were great literature
my wife and i have this shit down pat.
we know what to do.
we keep something of ourselves buried
in the basement.
we wait on january 2nd
when the holiday lights go dim
and all the garbage bags are full of
animal carcasses and bones
when pulpy gift boxes
rest against christmas trees
that are losing their brown needles
and the people are off the streets for good
in the malls returning everything
that they were given
or in the movies theaters watching this years
or in their warm homes, stuffed,
beached like whales
waiting on the sacrifice of 365 more days
we wait until that day
and we crack open a new bottle of wine
pull up the blinds
and watch the snow fall
on the desolate street
grinning like a couple of assholes
at the slaughter.