There’s a chair in my mother’s room bought at a thrift store for $15, loosely wearing an orange and black cover, like a still-drunk woman wears last night’s stained nightgown. Her drinking chair. I recognize well how the hollow hours passed there. I’ve spent those same hours, days, weeks, months, years, decade—fingers pressed to the pipe, straw poised, pills crushed, liquor chugged: I never got invited back to parties. I sat in her chair, not high, but false mighty. Delirium tremens kept her in intensive care. Again. I dumped her uncracked bottle of rum, my favorite brand, down her kitchen sink. I stayed to speak with a woman after a local AA meeting, crying on her shirt—I still haven’t taken a drink, a technicality. Here I sit in my own little room, seat of my mind where nothing can ever be fine, loops, spirals, misfires. Nothing good pours from me but need. Dry drunk with claw marks in the arms of my chair. ____
Christina Xiong is the author of Ghost Monogamies (Ghost City Press 2019) and The Gathering Song (Finishing Line Press 2018). Christina’s work has appeared in Versification, Poke, Cotton Xenomorph, Brave Voices Magazine, and others. She’s a freelance editor and collage artist, often working with found objects to create tactile art.