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  • By M. Brooke Wiese

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.


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