A Poem in the Before Choice Disturbs collection


By the time I got to university
I must have smoked, well, a lot of pot.
Such a good customer for
my dealer, that each time I bought
a quarter ounce he kicked in a hit
or two of acid.

I never took them, I hoarded them.
Not that serious about my self-destruction
then. Not like Rich. I smoked with
Rich most of the time, and once he saw
my little stash there was
no refusing him.

"What's this?" He asked, opening the
bag of squares. "Acid." My voice like I'm
saying "Orange Juice." Rich tactfully
cajoled me into it: "What are you, a pussy?"
But only under the condition that we finish them
all-- over a series of days-- never
letting ourselves come down. Rich agreed.

We began on a Thursday, opening
the bag of about 20 hits, and placed
he first under our tongues. Half
an hour later we were in the
midst of the drug.

Thursday and most of Friday are
clear to me, popping blotters every
8 hours or so. That Friday night,
sitting in the room, and then a blank.

A blank until early Tuesday morning,
before the sun, when I woke in
a sandtrap on a golf course
about 8 miles from campus.
Dressed in a suit and tie
instead of T-shirt and jeans.

I woke there alone; Rich was nowhere.
I went back to my room, later reading,
through my headache, about LSD.
Flashbacks, the 7 years in spine and brain.
Next year it'll be 7 years and all traces
of at least that drug will be gone.
And you'd think sometimes
I'd think about the things I saw
and heard while under the drug,
but you'd be wrong.

The strongest thing is the sand,
the sand in my mouth. I never even think about it,
until I'm at the beach, or even walking
along and a bit of grit is blown into my mouth.
Like the sand from the trap
is still there, in my mouth, previously
hiding in some recess of molar, or under my gum.

And what I remember ultimately
is Rich, sprawled on my bed,
wrapped in my blanket,
his clean mouth closed.