Miscalculated Countdown

None of us would resolve
to quit drinking, quit smoking.
I was the first one
to whip a lighter out all night
whenever someone
in our circle asked
and I was proud of that.

A girl I'd burned ten years ago
showed up before the ball dropped.
I apologized for the decade.
She told me, "We were kids."
Juniper berries never tasted so fine
and closure came with flying corks.

24 hours after the year's first hangover
a buck stares blankly from the kitchen wall brick.
I tear him down with fervor
as if he'd made those choices.
The December days he adorns
enter the trash can
with the rest of the year
below him, behind me
pages of lives reduced to a
re-gifted nature calendar.

It's months premature
for lions and lambs.
Preventative maintenance
is pointless.

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