Mercury in Retrograde

Wednesday, when you cashed me
out at the end of a delivery shift,
you asked if I believed in astrology,
and I said yes because you’re cute.
You said it was okay to blame
what goes wrong on the planet
closest to the sun, since it’s now
rotating in reverse. So I did.
That day, my GPS struggled
to calibrate my position, couldn’t
guide me in the proper direction.
And in the evening, I drank
myself toward sickness
at a radio station bar
to an out-of-tune band
led by a narcissistic
salesman in his sixties.
Just the week before I had
promised myself I wouldn’t
get blackout drunk again
nor lust for a person
that wasn’t my partner.
But when I woke it was
on an unfamiliar tile floor,
staring at the toilet, full
of old beer. I reached up
to tug the handle, to see
what next would spin away.

(originally published in Abandon Journal, Fall 2021)

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