She was sitting 

a little after midnight, 
testing me 
after a week load of drinking.


She was bemused. 
Both her hands were open.
Her eyes were wider than usual
She sounded goaded -


'I find one more bottle top
in this room and you'll be outta here 
sooner than you can say 
get ridda gorilla'


She threw the tops of two bottles in the bin
and buried herself in the bed.
It was my turn to talk,
to come back with a 'sorry baby'
a 'yes dear'
or something even less sincere.


But I was seven days drunk 
and all I thought I knew 
and all I wanted to be 
or ever tried for 
was locked up 
in my toxic wannabe world,


I couldn't be wrong.


So that night,
the night of the bottle tops,
I willed my thoughts over her while she was sleeping -
tried to make her dream.


She must have felt something.


In the morning,
before she went to work
she made me breakfast-
two bits of toast, 
some bantom eggs,
coffee in a mug,
and a note;


I miss you, it said.


I got up straight away,
searched the house,
found bottle tops
under the couch,
the fridge,
the computer,
the desk in the study,
the washing basket,
the hallway,
the porch,
the driveway,
the car.


Put them in a plastic bag,
shook them like an instrument,
allowed them their last hurrah


and threw them in the bin.


When she got home
she told me about her dream -


we'd been old,
I had died,
she was moving away,
searching through our belongings,


People had bought our things,
everything we'd earned,
everything we'd made,
everything we'd owned,


even our first couch.


As she lifted the cushions to clean it,
before it was taken away,
she'd found a bottle top,
one I had twisted off and lost long ago.


She picked it up
and placed it in her palm,


remembered every single day 
she had found one
remembered every single spot 
she had found one
remembered every single bottle top


and missed me.


Glint Greagan 'half' & 'night of the bottle tops'