Justin Hilliard - "Drunk Was The Night", "promises and pinkie swears" and "what do you want to be when you grow up?"

"Drunk Was The Night"


I pay the guy next to me

10 dollars to buy two beers

and pass me



Lost my fake I.d

now I can’t drive

so I chartered a taxi to the

party the next night.


We were all drunk

and the night whispered

cantos of lost

exotic poetry

in my ear.


Its breath stunk of

cheap booze and

half truths

and roofies

and marijuana

and stale smoke.


the night drew on it’s


and after the epic

blew smoke in my face

"promises and pinkie swears"


there’s a check in the money drawer

with an old co-worker’s name on it.

he had a degree

and used this place until

something better came along


hand written symbols stain

once clean paper



our skulls boil under the

summer sun

we talk about him sometimes,

gone corporate


we didn’t have no degrees,

no once clean paper

marked with symbols and

associated meaning perched

our sorry souls


minimum wage


soul paper cashable

by the sweat shop

claims our penance,

sequestered in corporate




slips of eviscerated bark

stuffed with monetary

promises and

pinkie swears


boss shows up one day

I haven’t smacked the clock


and take five to smoke


bossman, can I take

jake’s check

out to the bank

with mine

could use the extra


"what do you want to be when you grow up?"


you don’t talk about death at dinner with your

your girlfriend’s parents

or philosophy

copulation and fortification

say pretty things

    why ma’am this meal has just been


to her sister

    where do you go to


    Oh wow

    what will you major in?


double wrapped condom



in bed with her

whisper bits of

divine verse

speak of ends and



if you’re lucky


    i’m going to take the bar

you already dropped out

if we must play the game

let’s not make it

suicidal and boring


    truly I’m an astronaut. tomorrow

    I’ll be in space

so high


Justin Hilliard reads and writes along the beaches of his native sunshine state, where he also edits his literary journal The Chaotic Review. Visit him at https://justinhilliard.net/. His work has been published or is forthcoming in many wonderful publications including After the Pause, Dime Show Review, Amaryllis, Eunoia Review, and Rat’s Ass Review.