Sunday, July 18, 2021

After the AA Meeting by John C. Mannone

A drunk takes a swig
before he stumbles
on the curb. Passes out
flat clutching a bottle
of bum-wine tasting
like fermented sewer
water. Dreams of liver-
colored clouds waning
pale as smoke is replaced
with the sweet scent of
daisies and spearmint
while kneeling by the brook,
with clean water in the cup
of his hands, his belly full
of delirious courage.

John C. Mannone has poems in North Dakota Quarterly, Foreign Literary Review, Le Menteur, Poetry South, and others. He won the Impressions of Appalachia Creative Arts Contest in poetry (2020), the Carol Oen Memorial Fiction Prize (2020), and the Joy Margrave Award in nonfiction (2015, 2017). He was awarded a Jean Ritchie Fellowship (2017) in Appalachian literature and served as the celebrity judge for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (2018). His latest collection, Flux Lines: The Intersection of Science, Love, and Poetry, is forthcoming from Linnet’s Wings Press (2021). He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex and other journals. A retired physics professor, Mannone lives near Knoxville, Tennessee.

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