It doesn’t get better, it gets different. Ask God,
Clean House, Help Others. Try taking a trip, not taking a trip,
swearing off forever— with and without solemn oath. This too
shall pass: this rented office space, these folding chairs,
this night where women droop into the room like low fog,
bused in from a halfway house for those with infants.
Each holds a tiny body over her world and I wonder
which of us will die first. Their eyes wash over me
like seeds of brushfire.
After the meeting, I am murmuring sobriety’s aphorisms
( how does it go? is it Ask God, or Trust – )
until something pulls taut between us, splits— you say,
I want you to beg for it on all fours, and I say, I am