27,000 days is it?
Like the 27 days of a housefly times a grand
Is the average lifespan of a man.
Just imagine four drinks a day
For half the amount of time—
54,000 bottles of beer.

That’s what appeared behind our family’s veneer;
bottles uncountable, broken, unsalvageable
Behind the farmhouse we all shared.

When it was clear that my grandfather couldn’t get a
Handle on it, Union Carbide moved him from Texas
To an office in Saudi Arabia
Where alcohol was illegal.  

Fifty years later
As I wrestle my inheritance
Of addiction
I think of the dry desert heat he faced–
Not by will but in disgrace.
His parched throat
Voice cracking talking to his boys back home.  

At the old farmhouse
Where we both trashed bottles and days.

Where I still received mail addressed to his name.