Thoughts of a Drunken Tourist at the Bushmills Whiskey Distillery

Winter, 2013–2014 / No. 31

In my skull there are copper stills, fermenting

above sheep fields. Stray song lyrics stroll among

American bourbon barrels and Spanish sherry

casks licked smooth by grist.

Which resembles the pamphlet but nothing

else, does it? Wet pipelines shuttle mash

and wort, my pockets conceal tired boarding

passes. I drink in the on-site bar until the Grey

Lady ghosts by, then stumble back to the tour bus

and threaten to go streaking, Who’s with me?

It rained today. The cool hills blued

with evening, like many times before.

My whole day was a waste;

I missed castle ruins sleeping it off.

A week in and already I’ve been naked

on grassy hills, drunk in dark bars, obsessed

with the cantankerous sky.

I know there’s nothing special about me

being here; I see the same things as all

the others, exclaim the same compliments.

But here in a warm wood-panelled bar, I’ll pound

my hand on the table, press my shirt to my chest,

and declare, solemnly and without irony,

that I too could live here.