“Reuptake Inhibitors” by Sam Sax

Sam Sax



the first time i did cocaine liz let me borrow her rollerblades
my feet carved sharp wax grooves into the pavement.

i wore a headphone helmet. the wire dangling behind me like a giant
iguana tongue as the rhythm of the night thumped against my skull.

this is the rhythm of the night. night. night. night.
[oh yeah.]

each street lamp had a song burning in its eyes
the roads in rural ohio are rough
my legs vibrated a numbed bassline

each star was a pill in a rich lady’s medicine cabinet
the sky a pharmacy begging to be robbed

i skated so fast
i outran all my baggage

collapsed into a field of sheet music
i have yet to emerge from. my friends
wrapped me in a blanket of sweat
walked us home toward our warm beds


the last time i did cocaine
is a different story altogether

it was denver pride as a strange man cut lines with a razor blade
that had developed a taste for his sad forearm. the port–a-potty

stank in time with the rumbling bass outside
his trousers smile opened into a scarecrow grin
my skull tried to free itself from its skin sarcophagus.

buried alive in that filth stink sauna
there were no wheels to run away on
no bed to wrap my bleeding heart in gauze
no air to calm these snakes twisting through hair
and no corona song to quiet the monster
rattling in my stomach

from Rattle #37, Summer 2012

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