In their search for truth,
yearning youth drink life in like gin sinking in to vermouth.

And when the adrenaline from a Ritalin thrill kills their innocence – makes it die;
Or when they slip through the cracks because they were missed
by the catcher in the rye, or
when they learn what power lies in the smallest of lies,
necrotic narcotic nightmares will sail along neural creeks
to meet beneath synapses to speak about tantalizing sweets and nefarious deeds.

But out there in the wind and the cold, you realise
that you’re just a few bones covered in meat.
Sick and in secret, you’ll swallow
lessons whole through the soul-sucking
stinging from toes
gripping those well-worn holes
in the sneakers of a raggedy-ass beat,
either tweaking or limping or peaking or drinking,
Years and tears smeared together like weeping into blinking.

Now, I’ve conjured up this addict’s hopelessness with this haunted stream-of-consciousness
to hypothesize one of the lives I could have dreamed,
but at the time, I coughed up fits, and lungs, and even other people’s screams.
And, given that I’m not a fiend,
I sympathize with any dreamers and liars,
schemers with priors,
desperate or dire
for change of place or for hire,
sketching plans out on a wire
with their last lead, clear head, or copper,
So desperate even grace is improper.

Some days, I’ve been told, there’s nothing to do but cop, stop, and roll.
Doling out pipes, gripes, and holing up polite. Wholly unsatisfied with the height of your high.

But what the fuck do I know?
I come from a land of ice and snow
where trafficking blows because more often than not,
you’re panicking at the frostbite that’s collecting on your nose.
So cold, you already feel comatose.

And the proffered dose of cheap wine and thin toast
is staler than a tired TV trope
so no wonder kids turn to dope
to discover a way to cope with the pain of poverty,
or an outsider’s identity,
or even, their community’s incredulity when their family’s eulogies end unruly.

Truly, kids chase cerebral cosmos with weed, ecstasy, LSD, tempted by mere fantasy.
But, if it weren’t for World War D, bewildered children would need not fear the laws of our society.

And the irony is that a variety of pharmaceutical narcotics
contain the same toxic products
that are abused just like those yearning youth
who were only ever looking for some honest truth.