So you want it real. . .as in honesty—  
the kind that rattles your spirit  
as a straight-up shot of whiskey,  
no rocks or fruity drinks;  
well, okay. . .  
mine is gratitude  
because it's 100 proof, real  
honest and true—  
it's also handmade  
from my own copper still  
See, at my age, I know  
what conflicts are  
regardless of circumstance—  
mere opportunities to grow  
regardless of resolution  
They propel the vibration  
of our evolution toward Unity  
while maintaining individuality—  
iron sharpening iron    
These backroom brawls  
can transform the darkest energy  
to light if given a chance—  
it doesn't mean pretending  
these black eyes or busted lips don't exist—  
on the contrary, they need to be recognized  
for what they are on this physical plane:  
drunken illusions not carved in stone  
Today is a new hair-of-the-dog day  
allowing us to surrender judgment  
along with guilt or regret—  
release any need to prove ourselves  
in modalities of chosen belief
within confines of right or wrong  
Fresh water and a mop is all it takes  
to cleanse last night's blood and vomit  
from the class room floor—  
until the next brawlers enroll  
What? I told you it was gratitude—  
100 proof, and I thank you  
for the opportunity to learn  
But, if you don't mind. . .  
I think I'll abstain next time—  
I'm too old for this shit!  
I'll take a piece of cake instead  
Written by Ahavati
Author's Note
For SkyDancer's "Birthday Cake" Competition:
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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