04/13/12: OxyContin


Doctors at Swedish Hospitals’ First Hill emergency department will no longer write prescriptions for narcotics. –KUOW News, 8/30/10

In a world of drugs, the new emergency 
room lingo is “oxy-free”. This stuff 
has street value, you know. Kids

crush it, shoot it, snort it, sell it, mix it
with weed and smoke it, or chase it with booze. 
Reminds me of my acid-strewn youth, 

overdoses of pop stars. Every era
is estranged by a river, a stream 
tumbling with stones, a tannin-brown 

fission of age-bands. I refuse to referee— 
call foul or safe. I count myself among
those who weep with tedium at voices

of authority, those who learn by doing
or read only handwritten signs, who do not sing
as we drown. Among the disaffected,

with mood disorders and disordered
wreckage, life’s detritus. Three atoms laid
end-to-end equals one nanometer, 

but aren’t such calculations so distant
as to be meaningless? It’s not that I’ve never 
known fashion or offered a sly a blush or wink, 

but a high is not a different feeling, really, than 
the way time slows down during a crash, sliding
under the belly of a truck, perhaps surviving,

and once you’ve had that, what else can satisfy? 
Tossed about by a wave, all of this drowning
feels pretty much the same.

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