My Name Was Jason

On the south shore, an overdose claims a life every eight days
– Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 2014

My palms so pale, palm to palm
to hide the tremble of veins
so blue with want.

A little maple behind my bench
holds leaves out to the sun
touched with red

where a single cricket insatiable
chirps its goddamned brains
out. I dream

of drowning, of women who smell of dog:
a few milliliters measure
between light

and darksome shit I am desperate to ditch,
the endless tolling of funerals,
fathers, uncles,

lost to vikes or oxy taking
a pain away, construction
site contusions,

fatal accidents; news reporters
somber as if the end
of days, I live

this, this time, this need, this hunger.
When I open the door,
my red pit terrier

races, his mouth stupid-happy,
the baby smiles. This park
so sweet, and quiet.

The want is a wound September sun
can’t warm, so deep, so who
is to say how to choose?

I bring my rig with me every day.



Image: “Alone man sits beside a pond in the park” by Artem Beliaikin, licensed under CC 2.0.

Jonathan B. Aibel
Latest posts by Jonathan B. Aibel (see all)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.