Poem: You cut the pill with a knife

from Arrows for when you feel good: Sixteen poems | purchase here


Dream: you cut the pill with a knife to
show me what’s inside,
as if the chemicals could
be seen, be understood by the untrained eye–
and they could. From the casing poured pink
and blue bubbles, plastic orbs, tiny beads,
and I said, “Shit,” and you seemed to take it to heart.

The drugs made you unbearably hot;
you stood in the kitchen in briefs.

You said, “Let’s go into
the bedroom where we can talk,”
so we climbed the carpeted stairs
to the room with the two twin beds.
I put my hand on your back to give you comfort,
felt the heat radiating out through your spine,
and we paused there, nearly nude,
both strung out from this terrible cure;

somewhere in the house, the dog made noise,
so you left to let him out into the night.
I lay there, waiting for peace, and feeling
my mouth go dry.