“The Difference” By Rebecca Leatherman

“The Difference” By Rebecca Leatherman

My dad says I’m a clumsy driver. I swerve, zig-zag, misdirect my focus.
Can’t concentrate on the yellow line, on the white line, the in between.
Yes, I’m a terrible driver, but I don’t do any better on foot.
I trip, I fall, I get up, repeat.

He glides, moves side-to-side gently, tenderly.
He weaves in and out of traffic.
Jams that I stumble through he floats through unfazed.

“Get yourself together” he says.
“Get me a drink” I slur.

“I’m done” he insists.
“Please, I’ll change” I plea.

The whiskey passes my lips to my tongue.
Past my tongue to my throat.
Down my throat into my stomach.
The acid is eating away at the lining.
I can feel the flames licking my insides.
Ignite. Scorch. Blaze.

The water rocks back and forth against the pearly bowl.
I stare into the white abyss willing the raw burn in my stomach to relax.

“Relax” he whispers.
“I’m sorry” I cry.

I’m a drunken mess, alone and dying.

“But you’re not alone” he promises.

I am though, because he can’t keep me.
He won’t keep me.
The clouds he rides on don’t hold the thunder I possess.
He carries sunshine and deep breaths of air.
My lightning strikes, unpredictable.
The cracks deafening.

“Get yourself together” he says.

But I can’t because I’m a drunken mess,
Lovely and unattainable.

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