Bottom of the Bottle

There are secrets buried at the bottom of a bottle of rum,
Shared through straws and shot glasses, with ice and coke,
And a fair share of bullshit.
One-by-one, and sometimes all at once, they come up,
Erupting from our mouths past cigarette smoke and cold air,
With swear words and childhood stories
And the daunting possibility that all of life is a tragedy.

We drink until the secrets can be seen clearly,
Stained and blurry and swaying side to side.
The natural human reaction is to lean against each other
In times of duress and intoxication.
And “fuck it,” you say, and down another shot,
Pouringg out more secrets while leaning against the bar for support,
And stumble through crowds to the wisps of smoke.
Light up, talk, mingle, get to know people;
That’s the cure for melancholy, you’ve preached,
Temporary as it may be.
A stopper on the rum, and the secrets stop coming.

Silence is no gift to the weary-of-heart drinkers of the night.
We can pretend we’re happier just sitting there,
Bopping heads to music we hate until one or both of us needs to piss,
But what’s the use of it,
Drinking to the silence of each other’s company?

We once said “I love you.”

We once believed life was so simple,
Before the rum stopped flowing.
The last secrets remain undrunk,
And, all the same, just as toxic.


About Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll is a writer, born, raised and still living in Dublin. By day he's a student and bookseller, by night he writes fiction and uses social media.
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