Shades of Green

By , West Chester, OH
My eyes
Slowly
Travel to
Rest on
The green
Tinted bottle
He holds in his hand.
His sleeping face is troubled
With the dreams and nausea
That plague him in shades of green.
He lies huddled against the grimy wall
Of a back alley, moaning, unaware
Of the world around him, senseless.
Holding my breath, I sit down next to
Him, hoping that he will not awaken.
Briefly, I try to remember what he was
Like before he discovered his magic
Elixir, but my recent bruises twinge,
Chasing away that sad, dim memory.
My early memories are now a melee of
Shouting and bruises and broken limbs,
Tinged with the bitter scent of alcohol.
I glance at him, his rough beard of wiry
Bristles, his wrinkles and bushy eyebrows,
His inflamed face, soft and fleshy, and
Rags that he has worn ever since he sold
His clothes and mine in a plea for more.
Humans can see more shades of green
Than any other color, but the only
Shade of green that he can see is
That of the bottle he holds in his hand,
And the intoxication contained within.





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