is karmic justice wisely avoided.
The lamp at my dining room table
starkly illuminates the right side of his face.
His cauliflower ear
earned from years of wrestling
attracts accidental glances
that he may or may not notice.
I inhale his mother's leftovers.
He attacks my mother's baked goods.
We catch up over whiskey
wine, and rum-infused eggnog
seeking refuge from family
we suffered through all day.
There was a time at age fifteen
when we'd be drinking giant bottles
of malt liquor with parents out of town
but now we speak of noteworthy literature
convenient history, drunken fumblings
women who framed our penchants and pet peeves
lessons we learned in and out of classrooms.
No savior is born, but a few saints perish.
The time comes when I kick him out for his own good.
There's a holiday party waiting in his new state
with a woman or two worth effort.
There are stories to be made for next time.
The oldest friends know distance.
I hear the locks tumble
as my wrist turns brass
and he descends the stairwell.
Half a glass of wine swirls down the kitchen drain.
I realize I don't have a suit fit for weddings.