My Name Was Jason

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On the south shore, an overdose claims a life every eight days
– Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 2014

My palms so pale, palm to palm
to hide the tremble of veins
so blue with want.

A little maple behind my bench
holds leaves out to the sun
touched with red

where a single cricket insatiable
chirps its goddamned brains
out. I dream

of drowning, of women who smell of dog:
a few milliliters measure
between light

and darksome shit I am desperate to ditch,
the endless tolling of funerals,
fathers, uncles,

lost to vikes or oxy taking
a pain away, construction
site contusions,

fatal accidents; news reporters
somber as if the end
of days, I live

this, this time, this need, this hunger.
When I open the door,
my red pit terrier

races, his mouth stupid-happy,
the baby smiles. This park
so sweet, and quiet.

The want is a wound September sun
can’t warm, so deep, so who
is to say how to choose?

I bring my rig with me every day.

 

 

Image: “Alone man sits beside a pond in the park” by Artem Beliaikin, licensed under CC 2.0.

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