I just want to be thirsty. I don’t want to be sexy. I don’t want to be tall or full of bluster. I just want to drink whiskey with Mike and Matthew but am allergic to malt so have to settle for lemons. There are no trains to carry me away from my insatiability. Have all that salty salami and blow my brains out on sake. A thirst that starts in the back of the brain where all my secrets are smashed-up cars. Some kind of desire that pushes me to the river, my tongue out, my knees wet. I want to be thirsty in my thirst. I want to be thirsty when I have filled myself with coffee and run the length of three continents in search of that side of the world I have never visited. The side of the world where all the women are beautiful and don’t love me, where the trees sneak up on themselves to scare each other in the night and where children don’t have to worry about water. That’s how thirsty I am because I am broke and the halftime show is over and my daughters need to eat spinach, because my name is mud and because even when I can’t love my wife enough there is something wet I can share with her, something liquid and sweet, hot and improvised like iced tea with too much sugar, too much amber, that goes down as smooth as nails. [End Page 13]
Matthew Lippman is the author of two poetry collections, Monkey Bars (Typecast Publishing) and The New Year of Yellow (Sarabande Books), winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Poetry Prize. He is the recipient of the 2010 Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from the American Poetry Review.