Our friend, John, son of a wealthy dentist
was always generous with the gift of

weed or Quaalude. His own vice—heroin—
was never shared. A wise boy, John, who knew

early in his life that intention was
everything even though it had very

little material merit. John sipped
our cheap whiskey when he visited. He

allowed himself the respite of rolling
up his sleeves which meant the white scars on his

wrists were visible. When asked why he had
done it, he said it was an accident.

He’d tripped and fallen, wrists first, onto the
jagged jigsaw bits of a broken soul.

When asked if it hurt, John said that ashes
of the dead, the lack of forgiveness in

the dark, the lonely groan of foghorns, the
egregious roar of poverty hurt much,

much more. Then he shot up and slept on our
couch for the rest of the evening, sleeves down.

Martina Reisz Newberry’s newest collection BLUES FOR FRENCH ROAST WITH CHICORY is available from Deerbrook Editions. She is the author of six books. Her work has been widely published in magazines and journals in the USA and abroad. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband, Brian, a media creative.

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