“Intoxication Defined” by Benjamin Nardolilli


Blood alcohol is for the chemists,
Officers of the law and their captured prey,
It is not a number that makes you drunk.

Clumsiness, slurred speech, the loss of inhibitions,
These are only possible symptoms of the stage,
Love too, causes similar accidents.

A hangover in the morning
Is evidence you were once drunk,
But it can only name a state after its passing.

Drunk is hitting the nighttime air
And drowning in directions,
Looking down every street for familiar rooms.

Drunk is spinning without a center,
Without an edge or horizon to head to,
It is not knowing where home is.

But if another takes you with a smooth hand
Down the twisting roads to a bed,
They will have brought you a new home,

And then you no longer drunk, but lucky.