I Often Think About Taking


up drinking, wonder if there is still enough

time for me to become a functioning alcoholic.

I have failed so spectacularly at everything else.

I am almost 40, have nothing

that society considers to be acceptable.  

No house.  No husband.  No hope

of changing any of that any time soon.

I spend my time taking care of other people’s lives.

Friends.  Family. Even strangers

tell me I resemble a doormat.  So I stare

at those glittering bottles, curious

as to what form of oblivion each would offer.

Inevitably, I give up, close

the cupboard, go to bed, cry

another night to sleep.




The submarine was filled

with the eyes of a friend I had not seen

in fifteen years.  Blue as an ocean

of memories, I was hypnotized

by their rising.  Blinking in hypnotic tandems,

I could see myself seeing them

as if for the first time.  I thought

for a moment they might be mine,

until our communal laughter turned gray,

fell from lashes, evaporated tears.  I was left,

unfallen in a crashing vision of would-be

death, but when the last

breath was sucked from my lips, I found I

no longer needed it.  I was the ghost

of bitter swallowings, but I had been

granted forgiveness and eternal reprieve.


A.J. Huffman has published thirteen full-length poetry collections, thirteen solo poetry chapbooks and one joint poetry chapbook through various small presses.  Her most recent releases, The Pyre On Which Tomorrow Burns (Scars Publications), Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink), A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press), and Familiar Illusions (Flutter Press) are now available from their respective publishers.  She is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2600 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, The Bookends Review, Bone Orchard, Corvus Review, EgoPHobia, and Kritya.  She is the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.