Extinction Method

At some point, your wanting matters less than sleep’s beginning

and you learn what it means to drift. Nothing formative sticks:

no watery bone of gin on my breath, no lullaby slurred, no memory

of my absence when you’re older, half-seas over. The runnel of light

under the door is a beacon for wreckage that cannot be inherited

if you close your eyes, breathe steady as the bottle tucked in my jacket,

this house I tiptoe from to keep you safe. Because restlessness is in your blood,

I hope you never swallow your cures. Because I’m weak, there’s temptation

to dip a finger past the highball rim and ease you into mine. When I can’t sleep,

the hand over my mouth is my father’s. The taste is impossible to shake.




Samuel Piccone is the author of the chapbook Pupa (Anhinga Press, 2018). His work has appeared in publications including, Sycamore Review, Passages North, Denver Quarterly, and The Pinch. He received an MFA in poetry from North Carolina State University and serves on the poetry staff at Raleigh Review. Currently, he resides and teaches in Nevada.