My Drugs, Your Rose

My throat is dry and cracked, and there are no more tears to soothe it.

There’s no peace to be found in my own body.

I take drugs to sleep and to breathe.

I take my time and deliberately waste it.

And I have nothing but hours left, I’m sure.

Holding on with blistered hands and a taped-together heart is impossible.

Time is running out.

Still, I waste every minute.

I lie in bed and count as high as I can, but I count nothing.

I lie under perfectly good sheets and think of lying under six feet of dirt and sod.

No one knows this.

If they find out, they’ll lock me away; they’ll bring the pills back.

They’re the same pills that sit on my counter now, counted and lined up end to end.

The “happy pills” that, when assembled into an army, have the power to kill.

I shouldn’t have any left because I’m supposed to be better.

They wait for me.

They wait for my courage to catch on.

But there’s a yellow rose beside them, its petals stretched nearly into a grin.

Two days ago, a stranger pulled it from the arrangement that sat atop your casket and handed it to me.

It was a sincere gesture in everyone else’s eyes.

It was a ticket of escape in mine.

Suddenly, I remember someone once telling us all to stop and smell the roses.

I try, but my throat is raw and I smell nothing but sadness.

You won’t forgive me for leaving it all behind, but you have to remember who you left behind.

There’s nothing of you in this rose.

There’s nothing here to stay for.

And now I’m only wasting time.


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