There’s a tequila bottle in my bedroom

— it’s stolen, as if that makes it better —

chipped and cracked and held together

by glue and memories

of the nights I baptized myself in liquor;

three flowers peek above the rim,

pink purple white,

bruised and faded around the edges,

a bittersweet kind of beautiful.

It’s a labor of love:

I scraped the stickers off

and peeled until my fingers cramped,

washed it and washed it again

and put something pretty inside,

hoping it would look nice.

And it’s funny how

something that once housed poison

can be given new life.

I washed my hands of it,

knuckles burning until the water ran clear,

a baptism long overdue,

cleared the taste off my tongue

—alcohol burns worse on the way up—

and swept up the shards,

pieced myself back together,

and it’s funny how I feel new again.

Thumbnail graphic by Olivia Abeyta.