A Poem from Junkie Stories

The Injection:

There I was . . .
. . . I was lost in my own way.

I sat down to feel the warm slow rush
cruise through my body.
It was like a journey.
My mind drifted, and my body fell.
I sank into the soft daydream
of a long, but slow, and incredible nod.

For the moment . . .
The outside world was meaningless
but inside,
my mind was given to the warmth of a gentle cocoon.

I felt nothing, saw nothing
thought nothing, and said nothing.

A light bulb dangled from a ceiling fixture
in the center of the room. 
A half-finished cigarette with a long ash
smoked from a dirty ashtray;
its smoke lifting to the ceiling like a dance,
the sound of an ambulance
passing by in the street like a dream
and my eyes closed as my body turned inward

There was no mental gravity here
only shafts of light
that change in colorful wavelengths

I felt like . . .
like . . .
I felt like a loose cobweb swaying in the breeze.
I felt like a droplet of water
hanging from the edge of God’s green leaf.

I loved this high.
I used it to soften the hard sounds
and dull the sharp edges.
I used it to euthanize the positions
between stress and boredom
and untangle the mangled thoughts
that frayed in in my mind.

Vince came through the door asking to set up.
He sat nearby and I watched him prepare.
Vince told me, “Never let it get this bad, kid.”

That was like the old man warning the young one
about a mutual mistake.
Vince told me, “You should kick.”
He said, “You should find the book, or something,”
and by the book, Vince meant the Bible.

Vince always carried a Bible with him.
He used to recite verses and quote scriptures.

I listened . . .
. . . but I mean, what else could I do?

Sweat rolled down the bridge of my nose.
My eyelids sunk down
slowly retreating like a flag down a flagpole.

I fell back into my thoughts.

When I returned from the haze
I re-entered the room
and Vince at it again.

 About to shove off, and set sail for the aftermath,
Vince began to recite, “I am the light of the world.”

Awaiting the tremor, Vince aimed the point at his vein.
“He who follows me shall not walk in darkness,
but have the light of life.”

 Vince’s eyes were sunken and watery.
His posture bent,
slumping downward
as the plunger moved forward

and the spike set him free

Flooding his system Vince preached out loud,
“I am the door.”
“I am the bread of life.”
“I am the good Shepherd . . .”

And then God the Father spoke to me in a dream
I saw my poison materialize as sin.
I heard weeping angels falling downward
their wings, without flight
their bodies upside down 

dying in delicate explosions
that burst through my veins

Then there silence
Then there was light

I saw it clearly.
It was so powerful
It was like the Book of Genesis
It was the beginning, the rebirth.

It was like Vince said.
“Except a man be born again,
he cannot see the kingdom of Heaven”

I reached to touch pieces of sunlight.
I reached with all my might

but no matter how I tried,
the beams were just beyond my grasp.
Giving in to the nod, Vince preached.
“Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me in all the days of my life;
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord, forever.”

I thought to myself,

I hope so Vince,

because this sickness is incredible . . .


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