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Reprieve of a Junkie

The dim evening sunlight
streaming through
tears in the dusty curtain.

The broken mantle of a
fireplace
long from having since been used
for any kind of warmth.
Bottles of pills
illuminated orange
from the sun.
The tiny uncrushed
pills,
razor blades
caked with the powder
of yesterday’s
necessity.

The man in his
unwashed denim jeans,
dirt stained tanktop.
A messy beard,
gently littered with
grey,
natural and unnatural.

The rubber surgical tube
wrapped around his
bicep.
The track marks
red and puffy,
maybe infected.

The needle sticking out of
his arm.
He has lost his high.

Slowly, the wife
rising from her
sweat soaked mattress,
a beer-stained dress
clinging to her form,
a black eye and
a cut lip.

The baby gently
kicks inside her.

Her track marks
days old,
her nose dry and cracked
from the use.

Tears well up in her eyes
as she takes the man’s
pistol.
Her decision to make better
for her child made.
It was never his anyway.

He wonders where she is.
He gets up from his chair
and sees his wife
standing in the hallway,
pointing it at him.

The flash,
he drops to the floor.
The sunlight caresses her
as she walked away.
She never looked back.

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