As a First Resort, That Girl in the Snow (Rose Hunter)

Favourite wide, lowball glass
Smirnoff with frosting, cold dear fur
pour it in, pour it. Kiwi and guava, mix it in
the colour of pale Pepto-Bismol, donut frosting
and unicorns, sit back, back

the kindling at the back
of my throat, the warm hand
on my heart, the soothe, the balm, my friend
when was it

I started going to sleep
one hand curled around the glass
a straw in my mouth
wake up wet cheeked

and I had drunk quotes at the ready, created
my own drunk persona, which was not really
a persona, but I
didn’t know that, led me to believe
in the front of my mind

not the back let alone the far back
(those inaccessible forests, mist-covered gorges
with undiscovered species), that I wasn’t
a real drunk
= sorta performative drunk; I knew

I can quit anytime

was a cliché of drunks, so I didn’t say it
(not without irony)
but you can’t do this work sober
= situational drunk
which is an attitude I still have sympathy for

thing is, on my nights off I drank too
= PTSD drunk, and when I quit working
it was even worse
= aftermath
and (still) PTSD drunk, and many years more

before I was forced to
realise, simply = real drunk
but in the meantime, back then

(I imagined myself)
a child-woman wrapped up in her own
(she thought, performance of her own) disaster
in the milky pink mirror
of vodka and kiwi and guava 


Rose Hunter is the author of the poetry books Anchorage (Haverthorn Press, UK, 2020), and glass (Five Islands Press, 2017), as well as three poetry books and two chapbooks in the USA. In 2020 she received an Australia Council for the Arts grant for the creation of new work. Rose was born in Australia and lived in Canada for ten years, and then Mexico for ten more. These days she can be found in Brisbane and online at her website