Serpentine
the thoughts uncoil
like ribbons of smoke
from dark nostrils

alcohol numbs
uncoils the knot
in my stomach
calms
whispers peace
be still
let go

and so I do
in that moment
when the sharp heat spreads
across my chest
and I grimace

the pills in white bottles
sit
on my shelf
I take them daily
my last link to sanity
but it is alcohol
the constant friend
who puts his arm around my shoulders
and whispers ribald jokes
in my ear.