The distributive property of addiction

The thing itself seems too big and awful–she liked to shoot up in the bathroom, the list of people who enabled her suggested a big bathroom


Why do this thing? Where do the needles come from? Where do they go after? Do heroin addicts have sharps containers?

I make the elements of the equation as simple as possible–

Keith died of it

Mary died of it

It must have been a doorway

Why do you walk through that doorway the first time?

What is through the doorway that is so compelling that you must go back–no matter what

What were they running from?

She tells the story as though they were just cooking bacon

Who lets a 4 year old cook bacon? Who lets a 4 year old watch a fire burn or find their own way floor to floor to grandma’s apartment?

Who falls asleep on the bus back from the methadone clinic

With a baby

My baby. My baby now

I cannot turn away

If x equals the thing you must have and y equals the way it makes you feel

Then they were simply bound to x because of y

Like sky or free diving

there is a rush

But this time, this thing, chained her to it, brooked all reason

in the blood and the brain you cannot undo


Lost girl

it is the details you wish

To unhear, unread, undo

the window into terrible

Opened by her own

biological mother 

Who then had the wherewithal to


After she had baptized the child

The spun-glass-irretrievable little girl

In pain and blood 

When she should have plaited

Flowers in her hair.

The Real Girl

You always used to say I was not 

Your “real mom”

And I say,


What you really need to study are tropes.

For instance–

all the insinuating places

Fairy godmothers turn up:

  • Mitigating curses
  • Magically changing  the appearance of the most ordinary pumpkins
  • Mending what has torn and broken
  • Saving a girl from “steps” of one sort or the other

(…Or in your case just your own lost-girl soul)

  • Changing epithets into flowers 
  • Or mirrors into enchanted doorways  for the…

The forever, the divine, the set-free, the 

Real girl you 

Should recognize in the faces now of your own

Bewildered children.

(Wake up, sleeping beauty…wake up)