Paul insisted on wrapping lies
around an awkward truth.
He wrapped both in Christmas lights.
Colorful LEDs to save energy when plugged in.
His drunken faith justified
tobacco unrolled from cigarettes
tossed on the Yule log as it burned
to keep Santa away from our chimney.
Paul buried himself in a flatscreen football game
and counted the girls in advertisements
amazed that they now look more human
in the sense of varieties of sizes, shapes, and colors.
Through all of this he made himself tolerable
somehow reading our faces
as his invisible dials tilted toward self-loathing
by the time the eggnog ran out.
copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney