“An Examination of the Drinks and Feelings I Am Having Tonight About You” by Matthew Russak


I am my empty vodka red bull
once a container of energy and fun
I have been drained and melt

And you, lest we forget
are my slurping mouth
grasping at straws
with loose teeth and cracked lips

I can be refilled as any glass
so you can keep drinking
and I alcohol am glad to be habit­-forming

This place won’t run out of vodka
no matter how thirsty you are
so drink up a toast to me of me
and have another round

I exist to be used to be useful
to be enjoyed to help you enjoy
this night and others

You might quit me for a while
you might quit me for good
but at least I know
you will forever have stories

I was there for you when you afraid
wanted to talk to that boy over there
I introduced you
seduced you both and put you together

Some mornings you curse me
some you take me in again
some you swear me off
some you excite to see me later

When I am clear I am for you
when I am dark I am for you
when I am bubbly smooth frozen bitter old
I love you as you love me

To your problems I will be a tonic
specifically a gin and
and bring you closer to
those around you

So bring your lips to me and smile
tell me celebrations and hold me in woe
when you are dry I will whet you

I will whiskey you off your feet
flirt you with in front of for at anyone
I will lose your head over me
I will plan your night around me

I am healthy in moderation
I am unhealthy no matter what
I have been around for your whole history
I have always been reinvented
I am luxury I am poverty
I am everywhere or not allowed (and even still)

So throw me back
party with me
let’s have a good time
until you can’t keep up with me
I will be around for the next one
but for now it’s you and me versus with the world
and god I’d never change this

Some times you will never forget
some I will remember for you

I am inappropriate at times
often when you want me most
so you find me after (or sometimes before)
and we taste each other and sweet relief

And when it’s over
I am a tequila shot mouth hangover
a lingering throat lust regret story
that will be laughed off
revisited when you’re in the mood
reputationed and avoided other times
appealing often infrequently enough
that you forget and come back


matthew russak is millennial garbage; they are 26 and live in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in pittsburgh; they drink too much and smoke too many cigarettes; they are happy now