Big Gulp
Elizabeth Ellen

We were drinking beer out of shot glasses on my kitchen floor. You were wearing your winter coat. You'd said you could only stay a minute.
Another, you said. Another.
The faster I poured, the faster you bottomed up.
Whoa there. Easy, partner, I said.
But you didn't let up. You were really throwing them back.
At some point it occurred to me it would be easier to hand you the can, but when I extended my arm you waved it away.
There's something to it, you said.
To what?
To the theory that it hits you harder this way, you said, grabbing my wrist and downturning it. In smaller sips.
I've never heard that theory, I said. But it would explain a lot.

An hour later you were still here, the cans lined like conquered countries on the floor between us. You were visibly sweating. You still refused to remove your coat.
I can't stay, you said. I'm going to leave soon.
My left leg was already bridging the gap. I shifted all my weight onto it, elongating my right. Somewhere down below was you. All I had to do was lower.
Whoa there, you said. Easy does it.
My right thigh was in your hand. I hovered, waiting for your release.