Plain China

Three Months Sober

by Charles McCory · The University of Mississippi
Winter Alley, Nick Graziano · State University of New York at Oswego

Today the protection of this plastic chip
I took at the meeting with a hug
and a God bless from—
well I shouldn’t say her name—
who’s been sober longer
than I’ve been breathing
and keeps coming back


Power has gone out of it
where twelve weeks ago
I picked its notched side
to check for chocolate
underneath, some stimulant
to cut the edge of my vow.
But in the way of symbols
it was all surface,


an inch thick, and it
depended on me entirely.
A nothing to breathe strength into,
to clutch in the night suspended
by disbelief. I heard the chorus
of echoes, the fixed testimonies—
just for today, tomorrow never comes.
And as I held my doubted disc, jonesing
the miracles happened
like dropped money.


Never in those nights did I dream
my sentence would dry up
like a good witch’s kiss
and leave me homesick for a cell.

About the Author

Charles McCory · The University of Mississippi

Charles Ramsay McCrory studies English at The University of Mississippi. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Coachella Review, Amethyst Arsenic, Thought Catalog, and Gargoyle Magazine, among others. He reads fiction submissions for The Adroit Journal, an unaffiliated, international literary journal edited by undergraduates.

About the Artist

Nick Graziano · State University of New York at Oswego

Syracuse, New York, native Nick Graziano calls himself a modern media Renaissance man. Although he graduated with a degree in journalism, Graziano has found success with his creative work in writing, photography, and graphic design. Cars and motorsports tend to have the biggest influence on his work. Winter Alley first appeared in SUNY Oswego’s Great Lake Review.