Katherine now looks like a poem I wrote.
Written on the forty is a birthday wish from “Lauren R.”
I said good morning and in her lazy smile I saw a terror of bliss.
She had taken another dose, presumably because her girlfriend is threatening to leave her again, and gone to get cigarettes; on her return I will bum one and we will smoke and then she will offer and I will accept and tumble a little bit too quickly into an unplanned tomorrow, scraping up of yesterday what we can.
I’ve been drinking since 10 AM and my roommates just took some Xanax.
My tooth is newly chipped, and its virgin roughness is giving me anxiety.
I’ll cut out from now on pictures of pretty women in magazines and tack them to my wall, because they can satisfy me more than any of the women I know.
It always takes me awhile to wake up.
But there are hardly ghosts anymore. There is no reason for ghosts,
“Is there any of that vodka left,” I imagine her saying.
And I worried about leprosy today, but
after that forty and the hash rock, I just want to slink away to the alley house.
and two water bottles.
then on the stoop, there was Juan and his key-bumps of cocaine.
I couldn’t think about dreaming, and I still haven’t called my mom,
and this quiet thing I call my conscience is remaining steady
(even through the Sassafrass and booze)
because I am not going to be the one to break a heart,
especially not while Heidi’s flowers are melting into the blue sky of the window pane.
I stopped letting myself dream at noon, said, “I have to cut that check.”
So now I am in my underwear, trying not to think of your pornography, and how that makes me feel.