Congrats to Jill Talbot for winning 2nd place in the 2016 Pandora's Collective Annual Poetry Contest.
A Note Left In a Poetry Book In Detox
For the ghosts of junkie poets, past present and future:
I was here once. Several times—
Tell me about it—Tell it to me like it’s the last thing
you’ll ever say. Tell it to me like you’ve forgotten
the ending. If you think you know the ending
you don’t. Smile like you don’t mean it. Bleed it out—
show me the cracks. Don’t show me the cracks
in the frame—show me the cracks
in the cracks. Show me the heart
of the black duckling. Show me
your ugly duckling’s stepmother.
Show me where it aches.
There is value in this place
but don’t value it too much.
I found poetry books here once.
Nobody left me a note,
so I am leaving you a note,
so I am really
leaving myself a note. I am leaving you
everything I have. I know it doesn’t seem
like much. Vomit it out onto a page
all the same.
Tell me if the ceiling in the drunk tank bathroom
has been fixed. Tell me if the methadone still tastes
like what they gave out in elementary school Sports Day.
Tell me if you still remember Sports Day. Tell me even if
you don’t want to—Especially if you don’t want to.
What else are you going to do in here?
Tell me, what else are you going to do?
~ Jill Talbot