Drinking Dream by Mark J. Mitchell

We were somewhere near a river
but inside. It was someone else’s house.
New. The television was on. That’s
why we were near that river—to see
whatever was on that television.
I was standing. You were seated—
stemmed glass in my hand with dead
black wine. I saw the bottle—The pope’s
new house, I thought. Comes from near
a river. Whatever the television meant
to say was done. The glass was empty, black dregs
marking its depths. My mouth
tasted only river water. We are leaving,
walking towards the door, towards the river
then you say, “You don’t drink.”
I wake up guilty.

Mark J. Mitchell
Mark J. Mitchell studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver, George Hitchcock and Barbara Hull. His work has appeared in various periodicals over the last thirty five years, as well as the anthologies Good Poems, American Places, Hunger Enough, Retail Woes and Line Drives. It has also been nominated for both Pushcart Prizes and The Best of the Net. He is the author of two full-length collections, Lent 1999 (Leaf Garden Press) and Soren Kierkegaard Witnesses an Execution (Local Gems) as well as two chapbooks, Three Visitors (Negative Capability Press) and Artifacts and Relics, (Folded Word). His novel, Knight Prisoner, is available from Vagabondage Press and a new novel is forthcoming: The Magic War (Loose Leaves Publishing). He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the documentarian and filmmaker Joan Juster where he makes a living showing people pretty things in his city.

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