With the opioid epidemic in full swing, this poem — written over a decade ago — predicted the spiraling dangers and sad conclusions of our nation’s unchecked Over-The-Counter drug abuse problem.
Originally published 02-27-06
feels it on her fingertips, the gritty grip of a bad dream,
buzzing the back of her brain stem.
Spilling her caffeine…as the car spins on its axels and axis,
giving access into puddles of mental struggle
with prescription tablets of Xanax, Alprazolam
she reels and rolls her hands…weaves in and out of traffic,
as well as the stony glances of bystanders swerving nervously.
Anxiety deficient, until the minute it wears off,
then she violently will fidget; fighting the stares off
with Vicodin. There. Gone. Don’t like it, it’s their loss.
Whose “they?” The stares of unprepared laggers in the World
Race to Success. Clutching hearts, attacking the backs of those
chasing regrets with tap water martinis,
garnished with Zoloft or Paxil, Prozac, thrown back
…she coasts off.
Hyrdroplaning on a good cry’s worth of rain water,
her brain ogles the road through a migraine’s goggles,
tinted in Topamax turquoise,
she sees the Rolls Royce, clips and dents its fender,
the driver riffs with no voice. No time for miniscule berating,
drifting at eighty, she has a meeting with the bored
and her Ritalin’s fading. Happiness is at her doorstep,
a simple fingertip touch. And Vioxx will unlock it
from the future’s arthritic clutch.
She’ll celebrate with celebrex,
letting the blessings come, because the fire in her heart
consumed the Nexium. Gripping the wheel, feeling fit
on a Lipitor high, her happiness awaited separated
by the blink of an eye. It’s in the time span
one can swallow and clear a pill
or a pot hole can wrestle
away the steering wheel. Bottles of Viagra, scattered
and useless, Bextra, Crestor, Cialis, Asprin,
Wellbutrin…Celexa. A bloody cocktail
to quinch the death-palled palette; a ballad of loss,
a shattered glass, tossed salad.
In the middle is the someone
lost in the conundrum of one fast life’s average,
everyday drug run.