Leah Mueller

Better Out Than In

My grandmother stood above
as I vomited in my mother’s bathroom.

“I told you so!” she crowed
while the hot rum and apple cider
exited my body.

Nervous in her presence,
I soothed my guts with alcohol.
Her admonitions only made me drunker.

Thanksgiving was a tense affair,
filled with canned yams and rage.

Since I despised
the marshmallows’ artificial goo
and the prickly tang of aluminum,

I brought fresh sweet potatoes
all the way from Chicago,

only to upchuck them
a few hours later
into a Wisconsin toilet.

I hated it when
my grandmother was right,
because she derived
so much pleasure from it.

She could hold her liquor inside
for as long as necessary,
until her body absorbed the bile
and saved it for later.

It’s a good thing
I was never
that much of a drinker.

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