Bacchus

I heard the words you never want to hear
He’s in the hospital
I pulled together my determination
He’s in the ICU
I put together the dollars
He will be there all week

They told me it was Moloch who would kill my friends
They never mentioned how deadly Bacchus would be
They told me it would be car crashes and heart attacks and unforseen accidents
They never said it would be the numbness we so easily reached for
They told me it would be war and crime and all the ugliness that comes with it
They never told me it would be the poison we so blithely swallowed

That drink doesn’t hurt anything
This bottle doesn’t make a difference
It’s just been a bad day
Lay off, it’s been a bad month
Calm down, it’s just been a bad year… bad two years… three years… life

We took it down
We took it in
We drank like drowning men
We became saturated in it
We were soaked and drenched in it
So enamored and entranced we kept drinking it
And danced around Bacchus’s throne
Neverminding the lingering sadness in his eyes
As we slipped and fell at his feet

It wasn’t until later, much later
That we started to count the cost
We stood in fear
Around beds and sidewalks
Staring at what some of us had become
We stood in black
Around graves and pews
Staring at the end results

I walked into an ICU for the second time in my life
“He is looking better today.”
Because I refuse to let another member of this family die
“If you see me with a drink in my hand punch me in the face.”
Without at least saying that I tried
“You said that in front of witnesses, don’t doubt me, I will do it.”

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