A Prescription for Yourself

pills are your piggy bank & I know
you’re working on saving yourself
bit by bit every day, plastic bags
full of highs and highers but you
were hired at a Rooster’s you say
is good for your soul– congrats–
I’m at the Walgreen’s on campus
asking questions about your sugar-
coated drops of yesterday held
ransom by the holy words of
prescription papers circled with x’s
and your ex never saw it coming–
the resurrection of a person like
a monument erecting from sweat
and necessity then once you start
changing you don’t stop

 

(originally published in Slamchop Journal, Summer 2017)

R+X

the pharmacist
in her white coat
behind the coffin counter

instructed me to call the one-
eight-hundred number

but one plus eight equals nine
and nine is the first number
in nine-one-one
and there are two zeroes
in one-eight-hundred and
two ones in nine-one-one
and if you rotate the number
it’s a four-story building
crooked at the hollow nest
and what of the four
zero floors –
the barren families, pine
and needle. They scrape and dial
my throat’s frigid tones,
white shell.

I chewed my gum and thought,
what a pleasant sound ducks’ feet must make
when they waddle.
soft-boiled trampolines.