“J”, a Poem

Sometimes people from your past rise to your memory, and suddenly you’re back with them. Ten years ago, Twenty years ago. Whenever it was. Suddenly, you’re together again when you close your eyes; ageless, forever the way they were frozen in memory time.

I was thinking about a man I once knew, but this story is about the girl who brought us together; and who we both loved.

When I write about the past, please remember that I’m often writing from the perspective I had *at that time*. I was not a believer, and I was a young addict. So, who I am today isn’t necessarily reflected in my writing. But, this is where I came from, and the people I met and loved along the way.

I see her sometimes when my eyes are heavy

Her eyes were green wells

She filled me with their mystery water

I held her hand on trains

Where we sat laughing

I held her hand in alleys where we entertained

Men in costumes

And I held her in my hands

On the soft beds of strangers

When we laid down in the back of

Speeding cars

Our limbs as entangled

As the synapses blazing in our minds

Elation- Connection- Love


The crashes come

Shredding the paper wings we carefully constructed

Shattered the heaven we made with glassy eyes

And roving hearts

As sure as the red blood spirals into

The pale brown water

Before the needle pushes

Into the vein

I felt her.

More than the softness of her body

More than the hunger she stirred inside

I felt the sharp edges of

Her injured heart

One time, I believed I could save her

One time, I quietly slipped out her window

Into the cold night

I was trying to stop her from following me

To death

But really, we had already set it all into motion

The illusion of control slipped away

Leaving nothing but the ugly, snarling face

Of addiction

Devouring us all

This is what I think of when I consider

My youth

Now, I sit in a new body

In a new world

Marriage- Family- Commitment

We clawed our way up

With grit, determination,

And luck.

I didn’t save her, but we

Saved ourselves

The girl I see when I close my eyes

Is a memory, a past- a person

Who changed like the turning of the seasons

Into a beautiful new woman

And we when we speak,

It’s of freedom,

And grace,

And thankfulness.


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