early the pills pushed keys to open doors
behind which a voice huddled cringing in dim light

others brightened hues of lipstick roses crumbled in the rain
before a mower cut their muddy graves

or heightened flavors of coffee & tobacco
with sweet syrup from a lover’s breath

they performed surgeries
to remove nails bullets thumbprints from the brain

I didn’t realize I took so many tablets
to control my peripatetic wanderings

to sit still as I talked or wrote the nonsense that delights
the nougat in the meat of the milk chocolate

later I swallowed amber bottles plastic lids &
all to rid myself of myself

to forgive the devil gnawing my arm &
the god who stood there laughing at the wounds

oh how those capsules erased the lines blotted tastes
blurred the perfumed pages lost in some Dead Letter office

I couldn’t sing without my dose of melody
dance unless a rhythm was prescribed

physician heal thyself some time was said & I
went to that doctor until his pen ran dry

Ace Boggess is the author of two books of poetry: The Prisoners (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014) and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled (Highwire Press, 2003). His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, Atlanta Review, Rattle, River Styx, Southern Humanities Review and many other journals. He currently resides in Charleston, West Virginia.

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1 Response to Self-Medicating

  1. Hannah says:

    Reblogged this on Vers Les Etoiles and commented:
    This is beautifully haunting and poignant—might be a rough read for some, so proceed with caution.

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