those were years of Nitrous and Noctec—
living in the Nicotine ant farm.
he arrived only in pieces; with Xanax, Seconal,
Nembutal, Valioooooooom—(the endless others)
the trailing half-lives followed him like a stench.
the cadaver still propped up; even walking with
(the walking—an illusion, a prospect? a wish?)
in his life, what of it he could legitimately remember,
he'd tried to guard the tiny, tender flame. (boxes of words
seen as trash; even by the intimates.)
we think it broke his will (and there is no pill for that)