Circa 2013 …
We met as the sun came up over Nashville.
I had just finished my overnight shift
at the Seven-Eleven,
and she had just finished an overnight
at the hospital.
We had seen each other for years
in grocery and liquor stores
but had never been introduced.
I was stoned and asked her if she
smoked pot and she said she did.
I asked if she would like to smoke
and she said, “Sure”.
My apartment was cold so I grabbed
a blanket and we sat under it while
she rolled a blunt on a dinner plate.
By the roach she leaned into me.
She felt warm and calm. I felt similar.
When we finished the blunt I was
very stoned, and when I asked her
if she wanted to sleep, perhaps
wearing a pair of my shorts, in my
bed, she said,
“I thought you would never ask”.
Weeks earlier I had put towels over the windows
to prevent sun from entering during the day.
I usually slept with my head between two pillows,
another to my chest, another at my side.
She woke up at 5PM to piss and got back into bed.
I was grateful she didn’t leave and fell easily back
asleep, until waking again at 8PM
to make dippy eggs.
After we finished eating she went to the couch, picked up a magazine,
and began reading. I joined her and we read in silence until 10:30PM.
She put down her third magazine and leaned into me without looking
and asked if I wanted to smoke some pot and I said, “Sure” and she went
to my room, grabbed the weed and papers and a book and crawled under
the blankets of my bed and started rolling. I followed and put on music.
Halfway through the joint she said she was tired and I agreed. She put out
the joint and I turned off the light and we fell asleep. This pattern continued
for several weeks. We had both been fired
and the rent was now late.
Our skin was nearly translucent.
Our eyes were red and severely drooping.
All of the fish were floating.
Even the dealer couldn’t look at us,
slipping transactions beneath the door.
She told me that she had seen me die once
and the next morning she actually did die.
Several weeks later, upon arrival,
two EMT’s threw up from the smell.
I sat in the corner barely breathing,
neither innocent nor guilty.
Two police officers, wearing gas masks,
entered the room and pulled the towels
from the window.
The light burned my skin and I welcomed my final breath.