pink elephants

You remember a time when pink elephants were allusions in Disney movies
and not something all-too-real following you down the hallway,
stumbling over himself.

Now, time has found you the star of your own circus, a genuine Dumbo,
heading up the freak show of perpetually parading pink pachyderms,
while the elephant in the room
(your room)
smells like the inside of the hotel mini-fridge he rode in on,
tastes like a New Year’s kiss does when you’ve been drinking too much,
feels like his hands groping your body for a light switch
when the bulb’s been burnt out for quite some time now.

Meanwhile, your mastodon thinks himself a master of his mental modulations,
a function of how much he’s had to drink that night.
When the bourbon drips down his tusks like blood,
elephant masters english language to weave delicate deceptions
as detailed as a spider’s web.

You are the spider, caught in the thick of it.
You think to yourself how weird it is for an elephant to weave you a blanket
or a pillowcase to smother you with
when he’s finally had it with your questions.
“Where were you last night?” becomes a thunderclap unleashed by warring Titans,
a bitchslap teaching you to turn-cheek or tuck-tail and run towards reconciliation.

You know this is a battle to the death.
You know he’s already won when he cannot be vanquished,
his soul departed body long ago, leaving nothing behind
besides an elephant graveyard.
You are still pulling splinters from the parts of you that touched his bones.

You find that alcohol preserves the body as well as formaldehyde does,
except that it paints its subject pink instead of green.
Pink like how rosy your cheeks were when you first met him.
Pink like the heart that’s grown to love someone that’s addicted to anything but you.
Pink like the lilies that line the walkway to a gravestone that reads itself:
“Romance drank itself to death.”

You find solace in a clear glass filled with a red substance,
a concoction blending wine with innocent blood
drained from children who have yet to taste Bacchus’ nectar
except for, maybe, on their mother’s breath
when she can’t even look at them straight.

She closes her eyes and wishes she could find herself at home again,
click her heels three times and wind up back in Kansas
because Oz is neither green nor pink but black out drunk.
She can’t even remember what her house looked like…

All she can remember is that, maybe, it’s shaped like a bottle,
or maybe it’s a shoe with lots of bottles in it,
where her children must play bare-footed games
because husband spent paycheck on more important things,
because wife is at home with strangers she gave birth to instead of making something of herself,
because children’s feet must be tough enough to not be torn apart by broken glass.

A carpet of shattered bottles keeps hardwood floors from being stained with blood
while children learn that staying prone is safer
as long as it doesn’t predispose them to alcoholism.
Unfortunately, most elephants tend to give birth to their own kind.
One day, there won’t be enough rooms to house them all.


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