Buy and Bye

by Alison Livingston

Backwash the last seven hundred days
Slosh that deadly sauce
And superstitiously set it to song
A canticle of darkest green
Which means envy
which means mean

Buy and bye that agony juice
A coupon for your horn-rimmed youth
In a banshee bottle be
She will sit, she will slam
To be let free
Set down the hammer

Friday and Saturday sundown
Without the strength for TV
And harsh happiness scant
You float in fever, blurred and cracked

Half-hour, half-hour
Of sore pleasures and only
As you wonder
Is this what I thought it would be?
Is she?

Let girl gamma be the cloying rattle
Just a phone call away
Wait until she removes her face
and sandbags sand

This store-brand golem
Pitters for a song
Three-thirty, dressed to spread
Only saddens the nibble
Only tightens
the bottleneck

Sing the canticle to the cat
He can give you sleepy sorries
He can grant a post-war wish
Else be a capable rug
But not, alas, a drug

Oh she. Small as a dot
Floating in backwash
Large as every taste
And God, won't go away
Lap and sip, dive and dip
Regress, drain