Morphine & Other Poems
The nurse thumbs the wheel that opens the tube
that releases that exquisite lube
that bathes the sere and crumbling hummocks of your brain
and flushes out the tatters of your pain.
As you soak up that magical juice
your sinews, skin and links get loose
and you forget, first me, and then your cat
and you’re no longer sitting there where you sat.
With Lethe’s sweet water in your veins
you depopulate – college roommates, names
of childhood friends, an illicit lover,
teachers, bosses, my father, and last, your own mother,
all emptying into the vortex oblivion.
Irresistible. Final. Elysium.
Junkies in a Soup Kitchen
The boy is pale and thin, as if he’d wintered
in a cave, and now in spring, comes blinking
out into the sun. The girl sauntered
into his group one day, felt him twinkling
across the room, silent in his aura
like a Buddha, noble as a princeling.
She knew at once he was her karma;
convinced him she was his prescription,
better than the meds from Big Pharma
to keep him in his head. His affliction
was her forward manner; he went to bed
and dreamed of someone like her who’s addiction
was to cats or pricey shoes instead.
He fell hard for her, and when she gave
the word, they fled with everything they had
stuffed in packs on their backs. They live
on heroin, so cheap now, so easy, why
not? It makes them feel so alive.
And here they sit – in love, entwined, his thigh
thrown casually over hers, his sleeping head
against her chest, their food untouched nearby.
What wouldn’t they give for one night in a real bed.
What wouldn’t they give to not be this dead.
M. Brooke Wiese’s work has appeared in numerous publications, most recently in Literature Today, Qutub Minar Review, The Raintown Review, and in Poem. Her chapbook, At the Edge of The World, was published by The Ledge Press in 1998, and her sonnets have been taught by poet Billy Collins to his college students. After a verylong hiatus she has been writing furiously again. She lives in New York City and has worked in education and nonprofit social services, and currently teaches English at a special education inclusive school in Manhattan, to high school students of all abilities.