“Bargaining Position” by Colin Dodds

Bargaining Position

I was a young man,
entranced by every entrance I saw.
Now ten irreplaceable years of my life
smell sweet and rotten, like old beer puke.
With every dollar and every drink,
I wrote my own rebuke.
I hope the beer will save me
from the whiskey, like I hoped the whiskey
would save me from how long the night.
Life is easier for everyone else.
I already asked them.
Word got around that the word was mum.
Killing time, and then some,
at the bottom of the barrel,
slumping with the general public
at O’Farrell’s.
The drinks change us,
make us big then small,
then blurry and slurred.
I’ve been bargaining
my way down from godhood
for thirty years now.
So just name your fucking
price already.


Colin Dodds is a writer. His work has appeared in more than 250 publications, been anthologized, nominated and shortlisted for numerous prizes, and praised by luminaries including Norman Mailer and David Berman. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter. See more of his work at thecolindodds.com.


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