Hand-drawn sketch of a broken bottle, dark liquid pooling undernearth.

“If You Could Write Love Letters to the Bottle” by Jenna Roesch

Jenna is in her second year of physics at USask. She is currently an Associate Editor at in medias res and it is her second year being on the board. She is born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan but has a deep desire to travel. Her piece “If You Could Write Love Letters to the Bottle” was written in the midst of heartache and with a first-hand perspective on addiction destroying a relationship. While it was originally written to be spoken word, readers can feel the intended tone and empathize with the pain of addiction and heartbreak. 

If You Could Write Love Letters to the Bottle

If you could write love letters to the bottle,
And I could intercept them as they flew through space,
Would I crumble at their capacity?
Would the love that they contained beat me to the ground,
My voice lost in the desert winds to your liquid oasis,
as I writhe and squirm to be seen?
Can you taste the salt of my tears as they attempt to drain and dry you out like a valiant competitor?
But one that will never come first:
An underdog that will always stay under because for some reason that cannot be fathomed, its legs just won’t work,
Crippled by the weight of your past,
Of your problems,
Of the unbearable burden of loving you.

If you could write love letters to the bottle,
Would I be able to stay?
Would I put up with the torture that I am?
Would seeing the words that I already recite in my head on paper finally be enough?
When you no longer can deny that the warmth coursing through your veins is something that my love can never accomplish.
Because my love is only that…


If you could write love letters to the bottle,
Would you thank him for the scars not only on your liver but on the good times we could have had?
The times where he made you angry at me because I wasn’t him?
Would you thank him for slowly killing you, for the red metallic taste coughed into your mouth that belongs in your veins?
Would you thank him for being your only friend as he cost you all the ones you used to count on?

You see, my love letters wouldn’t be to a bottle,
Because your love is what makes me brave, capable of conquering the world.
Your love is what makes me talk, spilling secrets from every crack and crevice that I contain.
It is your love that makes me warm but your craving heart that leaves me freezing.
Because sadly, I don’t put you second, and I don’t try to numb you —
Something he does all too well.

If you could write love letters to the bottle,
Sign your name at the bottom as this is a will you should’ve realized was your own.
A contract you signed every time your lips hit the glass,
Didn’t you realize?
But I do hope you love him,
Because instead of being buried with me, broken glass and foggy memories are all that lay in your coffin.
That liquid is a poison who will never love you.
Created to destroy, you welcome him with more gratitude than you could ever show me.
If only you could see the letters the bottle would write back to you, maybe you would stop.
Just maybe.

If only you could write love letters to the bottle.

This piece is part of the in medias res March 2021 “Love” Issue. You can read the full issue under the tag “March 2021.”

Image by Jenna Roesch