A Poem f,rom Junkie Stories

Pins –

There I was . . .  lost in a nod
I was lost in an imaginary field that stretched
beyond anything I could ever imagine.

(Or maybe I was just on B 15th St.
and I was too far gone to notice.)

I was lost in a figurative field of tall grass,
swaying in the imagination of a summer wind,

and I sat down to feel the strength a warm,
smooth rush.

My mind collapsed into a gentle spiral
sinking in twists—swirling downward in a delicate cycle
and everything around me slowed down
to a magnificent crawl.

Outside was irrelevant.
But inside, my body (or church)
was wonderful and contaminated.

A light bulb swung, dangling from wires
that were tied to a fixture at the center of the room.

We were in a basement, I think.
I was somewhere far from where I had ever been before
but I was too removed to care.

I could smell the soil of vomit—but I was not moved by this
I was detached from it all
and lost in my own perfect seclusion.
Nothing could touch me.
Nothing could even scratch my surface.

That’s why I loved this euphoria . . .
it was like a comfortable cocoon.

I loved the way it shoved reality to the side,
melting the hard surrounding sounds,

and soothing them into something soft,
like a dainty little lullaby.

Vince stepped through the door.
asked if he could set up.
He sat nearby and I watched
as he prepared to join me at the horizon.

“Never let it get this bad, kid.”
This was a case of the older warning the younger
yet, I never understood why
But that’s the thing about this life.
That’s the way it is.

Everybody always warns you
but you keep creeping in
you keep testing the waters
until you can’t turn back . . .
and then you’re hooked
and it’s got you

Vince told me, “You should kick.”
“Maybe find The Book, or something.”

In this reference, The Book meant The Bible.
Vince carried one with him at all times.
He quoted verses and read his favorite passages.
I liked listening to him read
because being a sinner,

many of the passages seemed fitting
and I always did like the idea of redemption.

He said, “It’s good that you stay away from the pins, kid.”
and while listening to Vince warn me about the needle,
I began to slip back to the nod

(So high . . .)

Vince went on to puncture his skin.
As he pushed the needle, Vince was ready to fall away
and his breathing explained everything . . . 
it explained the relief
and the attempt at heaven.
But this heaven is synthetic
its weightlessness is beautiful
but it comes with a heavy price.

Sweat rolled down my face as I resumed my place in reality.
I re-entered in a way, emerging from the nod, and opened my eyes.

Vince was at it again, reciting
“I am the light of the world.”
Holding the syringe, he continued,
“He who follows me shall not walk in darkness . . .

. . .but have the light of life.”

His eyes watered as he spiked the vein.
“I am the door,” he said.
“I am the bread of life.”
He pushed the plunger in, exhaled . . . and Ahhhh
“I am the Good Shepard.”

Then . . .
God Almighty spoke in my dreams.
I saw the poison and my sin
I watched angels weep inside beaten cathedrals.
They were falling backwards and turning upside down.
Then there was silence
Then there was nothing
until a bright light came.

I saw it.
It was so overpowering and pure.
It was like watching the Genesis of man.
I tried to swallow pieces of its sunshine, but its flavor
would not pass my throat.

A white powder answered the riddles of my reality
but the powder never really explained itself
it only answered our questions with another riddle to keep us going.

Before I gave in to the demon, I heard Vince continue
as the cops placed him in handcuffs,

“ . . .Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever and ever . . .”

I hope so, Vince

. . .  because this sickness is incredible


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