(#28) On a pretty damned bad night.

Prompt: there is no prompt, only man. I’m going through prescription pill withdrawal. It’s serious business.

It is a prisoner’s dilemma.
I did not want to die- much less
alone and from a dependency
to prescription pills
and online shopping.
Extinguished by the heaving of my own lungs.

The club- I mean, hotel,
I mean, facility,
Where suicides coexisted
with Truman Capote’s morning
vodka and orange juice
was tempting.
A respite from the world,
Giving back the remote control
to better hands with more refined
and cuticles.
I thought about learning tennis,
briefly, again.

I cannot take another pill
but if I don’t take another,
The world threatens to get
bigger or smaller,
smaller and smaller,
Until I dissolve back into
its molecules, my own bloodstream.

I am soothed
by my purchase
of a German stuffed snake
with extreme anxiety
and a fixation on a maraca,
that stands in for a pill bottle,
that metastasizes as a rattle.

I am wracked
by the thought
that it will arrive long after
I have jumped off the train
the 3am subway rocking back to Brooklyn
where everyone is quiet
and nobody says a word.

I did not want to live- much less
live in a world
where the pills controlled me,
I did not want to thrive
Without their gift.
They did not want me without
them, I slammed the door
I awoke with a bang to the sound,

I am strumming the SSRI ballad,
The ones that keep me awake enough to function.
The ones that made me fall asleep
in the middle of a brisket sandwich
on rye,
I am wailing the benzodiazepine blues,
I tell the cat, ‘we’re not well,’
as she circles around my endless spirals,
I whisper the tune of narcotic
alt-rock trance haze into sleep,
the ones that abandon me halfway
between a dream and a hard place,

Mother, do you feel safe?
I am not worried about hurting my body,
I am paralyzed with fear
that my body will hurt me,
Surrounded in the box 11.5 inches tall
there are faces, they are smiling,
there are admissions of guilt
and Yelp reviews of hospitals,
there is a world- there is a world.

Half a pill is all it takes,
I feel it go straight to the heart,
I can visualize its journey through veins, through
the liver, in the bloodstream,
settling into my brain,
My father tells me to stay loose,
He is surprised I cannot
pull my shit together,
as one says.
He is tapering off
the less I yell,
I am titrating
the conversation.

I don’t know about you,
but I intend to write
a strongly worded letter
to the White Star Line
about all of this.

My ship is sinking,
I’ll either tough it out
or breathe heavily on the phone


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