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She hits the bottle
like she’s playing blackjack
Always wanting more
And inevitably losing it all

She stands in the remains
Of the destruction she’s caused
Filled with regret
Finding salvation
At the bottom of a glass

Coming home jubilant
To speak of all her successes
And all I hear is a buzz
The slurs in her speech
And lose sight of all else

Hearing loosely threaded stories
From that point on
Trying to find the holes
Where the honesty shines through
Knowing she’s far too happy
To be telling the truth

Filled with self loathing
Reeking of liquid courage
Losing her grip on what lies
She’s told before

She loops
And falters
At which point
I close my ears and walk away
Not wishing to waste my time
On tall tales and a tossup
No matter which side the coin lands
I’ve lost myself
In this battle with your illness
  Sep 2018 Ink Syndicate Poetry
Renee
I'm sure I look fine.

Days like today,
I want to strip the skin
From my forearms
Using only my fingernails.

Days like today,
I want to wring out
My legs like a washcloth,
Squeeze the rolls on my stomach
Until they're empty.

Days like this,
I want to walk away from my body
forever.

I'm sure I look fine.
Nobody chooses a bottle willingly. A pill or a loaded gun, in the end it's all the same.

We're waiting, still, hiding. In our holiest of places:

The kitchen and the office. A quiet sideways-slide into the last available stall in a casino washroom. The seat is still warm.

Teachers don't tell kids that drugs are bad. They told us that we were the evil ones for deep-******* a bottle of ***** every Friday.

They didn't know what we had to go home to.

Cancer sounded better than living past 20, and that's the thing that they'll never comprehend:

There's always a reason underneath overdose.

The only time a drug is bad is when you can't afford it, and you're sitting alone in a fetal position crying in need for a chemical bliss that you've caressed over and over; a blanket covering memories. Feelings. Emotions.

The only time a drug is bad is when you're too **** poor to grab anything better than a box of Benadryl and a dimebag of shake.

The only time a drug is bad is when you're anything but rich an' white and pretty, because then you're not addicted, you're having fun with the price of 1,000 a week at an all-inclusive rehab resort.

Drugs don't discriminate, but people sure as Hell do.

There's always a reason underneath overdose.

There's always a reason underneath.

There's always a reason.
There's some joy in getting old.

Broken bones and snapping hips.

Wrinkled skin and falling hair.

Wasted days that aren't spent wasted;

Coughing lungs and swollen hands.

I've seen the seas of sorrow high.

I've loved and been loved by.

I saw a war and guilt and pain.

I've bled and cried and mourned again and again.

Now I have more years behind me than ahead.

I'll continue on living, but I'll still end-up dead.

There is little joy in getting old:

But it's still there,

and I'm still here.
sometimes
                                                       ­                         my
                                     ­ brain
                       doesn’t
                                                       ­     work

right
                                                ­                               and

                             my

                                              thoughts

     ­                                         scatter

               ­                                                    like
                               beads

                                     spilled
                               on
                                                              ­                 tile

floor
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