Thomas Holton


Big, red, ugly alcohol faces in a smiling circle in a Tiki bar. We have big, red, ugly alcohol faces that connect back-to-back like horizontal totem poles in the shape of a handgun and that’s the state. We have salt water streams that feed into the water towers and the state points its handgun at you and forces you to drink. You think it’s a lesson, like in the movies. You think the music will build until you’re about to pass out and the bad guy will lift your face from the salt water sink and tell you to never, ever fuck with them again. But in reality, no one’s watching, so they don’t. You keep drinking and choking on the salt water that keeps the big, red, ugly alcohol faces red and ugly and alive so they can die in Florida. Even if you could stop drinking, water towers over everything here. You’re wet in the air. You never quite dry off. Death is warm in Florida, and it’s because of the water. 

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Thomas Holton is a Florida-born writer and poet living in Chicago. His poems have appeared in Red Ogre Review and HU the zine.