I find myself
In cafes and wine bars
Filling my nose with
Not grape and grinds,
But melancholy and bitter,
Or is it sweet and lively?
The moon has become too bright to tell.

The wine soaks into my pores
And reminds me of a man
whose acceptance lingered
In the back of grade books
And outside the doors of tattoo parlors.
Whose pride remained steady
On the outer rims of
Rolled up dollar bills
Accompanied by numb gums.
Whose gratitude held the lighter
But did not light the flame,
Allowing for the smoke to fill my lungs.
The wine remembers me
Like tears remember a rainy day.
I learned to drink wine slowly,
As if searching for a reason to say
"I love you."

The coffee goes
Straight to my veins,
Burning a hole in my gut.
Coffee fills it with steam.
Or is it smoke?
My mind is too clouded
To remember.
Coffee makes my belly ache
And sits on my lungs
Like a gun to my temple.
Coffee remembers me like
The mountains remember the sea.
I learned coffee in waves.
I learned coffee like the moon learns the sun.
In slow bursts of color,
And long pangs of night.

Wine bars and cafes
Bring a bitter sweetness
To my unhealed scars.
I wait for the memory
To pass before moving on
To the next winery,
To the next coffee house,
Until all I have left
Is a hole and a rolled up dollar bill,
Whose edges have been ripped away.

This poem is about: 
My family


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