My Vice

On that day when everything broke,

When everyone else left,

You were the only one who remained.

Your voice, strong and smart

Was all I had to ease my pain.

Like a needle, you stuck in me,

Under your stupor,

Never did I realize my wounds never healed.


You made yourself out to be the hero

Made me sing songs of praises

Made me indebted to you

I tried to repay you but for some reason

I just couldn’t.

No, even beyond my broken limits I was incapable.


Years went by

And the wounds still remained fresh

Needlepoint by needlepoint you eased me.

Still broken I could not stand on my own.

Slumped on your shoulders, never could I imagine

A life without you,

Lest I fall crippled.

I couldn’t see it when

You slithered around me

And like a serpent, you squeezed

Breaking my spine, my ribs my heart and my soul

But I couldn’t feel it

I was too numb under your spell.


Little did I imagine,

That in every tragedy,

In every nightmare,

You lurked in the shadows.

The alleys where you sold your

Sick and twisted wares.


One day, I could feel your narcotic trance

Wear off, the burden of my pain too great,

Even for you. In that one sober moment

I felt it, the pain from long ago.

Never did I imagine that

What was wrong with me, was you.


I confronted you once and

All you tried to do was sell me

was more snake oil.

Then you told me it was my fault

That I was buying less and less.

And that was killing you.


I don’t know when you affixed these strings

Now that I see them,

a pair of scissors is all I need.

Yet time was against me

As the agony sunk back in

And blood pooled beneath my flesh.


I found a pair, in an old cup

Sitting at my desk and drew them close

Their sharp edge ready to severe us forever.

And yet I hesitated

For years I hesitated.

For years I suffered hoping for more release.


Then that fateful day came

When all your soma, all your lies

Could not blot out the pain!

I cut you loose, swore off your bitter entreaties!

I dragged you full force and cast you

Deep into the abyss

Where I will be unable to follow you.


When I quit cold turkey

I felt nails drive into my skull,

My body quivered with hunger,

The pain, laughing.

I thought I might find you

If I cast my line somewhere deep.


I fished for days in the misty sea

And pined for your claws in my flesh

Yet the longer it took to find you

My bones mended, my flesh bled no more.

Miraculous, the pain began to wane

Just like when I first knew you.


One day I found myself standing tall

Whipping my line to catch you

That’s when I realized I’d been healed

The lepper cured of plague,

The exiled coming home.

Without you, I grow stronger

Day by day.

One day, I’ll even be stronger than you.


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