Just before my 21st birthday, my brain is floating on less than half a glass of wine.
“I’m saving the rest of the expensive stuff for myself,” my friend Mara laughs, pouring me a small taste of Barefoot before serving herself from a different bottle.
I slowly nurse the rose in my fingertips.
There are four of us, all girls, all giggling, in a room laced with twinkle lights and the color of honeysuckle.
I tell my friends how quickly I bleed emotionally; explain my cautions with drinking while on antidepressants.
“You’ll be safe here,” they all say, and the first sip is fermented and sweet.
It is snowing for the first time in St. Paul. I want to kiss all of my friends cheeks to know that they are still warm.
Basil the housecat arches his body into the shape of his scratching post,
I curl into Mara’s roommate’s plush armchair. This friendship is a comfort I am not wary to sink into.
When it is time to walk home, my wine is still on the coffee table, infrequently touched.
“Should I just finish the rest of it?” I ask, as we sleepily drift into the kitchen to rinse lipstick-embossed glasses,
debating whether or not to pour the remainders of myself down the sink.
Adrienne Novy is a poet and teaching artist from the Chicago suburbs studying Creative Writing and Education in Saint Paul, MN. Her work can be found in FreezeRay Poetry, The Rising Phoenix Review, Harpoon Review, Voicemail Poems, and on Button Poetry. She loves dogs, a good blended chai, and shutting down biphobia. She is a strong believer in that it’s possible to be both cute and powerful at the same time.