The Window At Night

Trigger Warning: alcoholism, addiction, mention of drug use

How many of my own garments shuffle
with the scrubs and hospital gowns
They feel disposable
But so do mine
As I prepare
As I prepare to leave the hospital
As I prepare to go to rehab
I listen to Amy Winehouse on my headphones.
She is dead.
That is enough
I say yes to everything but is it enough

I’ve been aware that the line I traced
Could not be walked forever
Now that my arms are traced
With more punctures
Than my own needles ever did,
I feel like a lotus eater
Lying in bed being shot up
With Ativan every four hours
Lying here,
Drifting out of shame, of sleep,
The enormity of what is about to change.

Don’t put the IV in my texting hand,
I thought as the CNA placed it
She was a vein whisperer
My veins are small and deep

The pity of the potassium drip
They ran through the thin skin
My arm clenched,
I arched in pain, cried.

At night
I would walk,
my legs awkward from disuse,
To the single window opening
to downtown LA, a pine tree in the way,
I would press
Both hands
To the glass,
my scrubs hanging down my legs,
And stare with voracious hunger
At the skyscraper windows glowing,
The subtle pulse of the traffic.
I wanted to be there but I knew
I could never embrace the dirty heart of the party
My doctor said
I will have a heart attack
or a stroke if I keep drinking
My irregular, fluttering heart
My hands pressed, cold, to the glass
The city outside, radiating.

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