A Toast to the Multimillionaire Who Just Laid You Off

X., we know you think of us as family, so how bitter was your grief when the day came, the fateful day you always feared, the day you were forced to disown 25 percent of your household via an email?

We can only imagine your anguish at pressing the send button, informing one-quarter of your children you can no longer afford to pay an allowance for their chores.

How painful was your scalp as you pulled the hair from its roots? How bloody and swollen were your gums when you ground and gnashed your teeth? Did the nauseating putrid scent of candles pucker your nostrils as you sat cross-legged in meditation?

You poor, poor, poor, pathetic and pitiful man. Come share a drink with us:

Drop the act. Drop it.
We’re tired of watching you frown.
Have another drink on us.
Drink until you drown.


The Tale of Voyeur Angels

New lovers celebrate the impossibility of emptying themselves to one another completely, thus achieving a milestone on the way to peak intimacy. The surveilling angels shake with crude jealousy, yet for the lovers they’re also oh-so happy. They sing:

May your oysters always be shucked.
May your chickens always be plucked.
May the sun always rise
between your damp thighs
after a mind-blowing fuck.


A Toast to That Perfect Someone

X., you’re smart, stylish and funny. You’re generous, selfless, self-effacing, with bottomless founts of patience and gratitude. I speak for everyone here when I say … fuck you.

Your parents gave you unconditional love and support and never wanted anything in return. And you’ve only ever had generous and compatible lovers. Without shame, anxiety, apprehension or regrets, you delighted in one another’s bodies. Fuck them.

You socialize with world leaders and won’t share the tiniest inconsequential bit of gossip. You’re well known for respecting cultural differences while appreciating our shared humanity. And you’re an excellent amateur photographer. Fuck. You.

You have best-of-breed children. They’re stylish, smart and funny — just like you! What the fuck?

Here you are at the top of your game, in work, in love, in life. We follow your lead, but seriously, fuck you. Now, everyone please raise a glass and join me in toasting X.:

Let’s be clear. To be here is
well beneath your station.
Let’s drink to the only thing you lack:
a profane imagination.


A Toast to New Moles on Old Bodies

X., you join me at this late hour. You come uninvited, like an apparition emerging from smoke, or a hallucination from eating too much, or a stray cat asleep on my porch. You posture like a drunk god, self-satisfied with your creative genius. I admire the way you throw yourself into the mix with confidence, the way you establish a presence without needing to insist on it. Anyway, there’s no getting rid of you without violence, and I don’t have the stomach for more violence. Unless you leave on your own, we’re together until the end. Since we don’t know our future, let’s toast the present. I’ll drink for us both, but first these words:

Body, I love you, not least of all
because you give me space
to drink, to think, to make things up
at our particular pace.