6.06 / June 2011

The Last Time

I came home drunk and we lit ourselves on fire. We were such flammable creatures then.

The neighbors must have heard us, burning up all the oxygen in our little apartment, suffocating ourselves with big, loud words. The cops encouraged you to stay the night with a friend. It was all they could do with no burn marks to show. I never touched you when we were on fire, a promise I hope you noticed.

When I came home from work the next day, the apartment seemed larger without your things.

I couldn’t get the smell of smoke out of the walls, the sheets, my clothes, my skin. I broke the lease shortly after, threw everything out and moved here to Chicago. I haven’t touched a drink in 2 years, too afraid to touch a bottle to my lips, whether water or whiskey. I live mostly off soups, watery vegetables and fruit-lettuce, tomatoes, melons. My skin feels constant of drought. Especially winters here when I scratch at my elbows and they flake into ash.

Christopher Newgent lives in Indianapolis where he runs Vouched Books and the Vouched Presents reading series to promote small press literature in his community. You can find more about this at vouchedbooks.com, or see more of his work at cenewgent.com.
6.06 / June 2011