it begins slowly,
just a sip or two,
and you notice the emptiness is gone
so you do a couple shots,
smoke a couple blunts,
but soon that isn’t enough
and your friend gives you a tab
and you’re tripping through the park
but that wears off too
it all does
even the coke and the pills
so you’re always on something
and it’s over before you know it
you’re bad enough that it’s obvious
and you decide you need to break the habit
so you get clean
and you’re right back where you started
and you realize your tolerance is as low as it was the first time
and you could get so high right now
and you can’t figure out how
to stop eating your fucking tail
i see her
and i’m stuck in place like lot’s wife,
the sweat on my brow just as salty.
i know i shouldn’t acknowledge her.
but some things you can’t stop yourself from doing.
like sneaking a peak at the person in the car next to yours
at the never-changing stoplight.
or having one more drink
when you’ve already downed ten.
she has this sense about her
that she knows she can take me back
in the blink of an eye,
in the corners of her perfect smile,
in the all too familiar smell of her perfume.
all she needs to do is say those words
that strike my heart every time,
taking me to my knees,
“i missed you, you know”
she breathes, the words
dripping from her lips
like syrup onto blueberry pancakes,
smothering them until they turn soggy and fall apart.
Biographical Note: Morgan Nolte is a senior at the University of Kansas majoring in English (Creative Writing), Philosophy, and Italian. She spends her free time writing or snuggled up with her cat and a good book.