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  • Jimmy Broccoli

I Touch Roses

With the syringe still in his arm – still piercing the defeated vein –

with his mouth open and wide and inappropriate…

This is how I find him…

his skin doesn’t look right – it’s grey -

it’s a shade of grey that doesn’t require a person to be breathing…

he looks at me sideways – he isn’t really looking at me at all –

he looks at me sideways because he’s dead and he cannot focus

I call 911 – and tell them of the overdose –

I tell them he is dead –

the cavalry – the spinning blue and red lights are not needed –

no sirens are required -

no ambulance needs to get here with urgency -

there is no hurry…

he’s dead. he’s fucking dead.

he was a junkie – he was my junkie

he’s here (now) with a needle in his arm –

and he’s dead. he’s fucking dead.


I will miss him. I will miss him deeply.


It’s an hour after the funeral and I’m at the park –

And I’m imagining my life without him -

(without him (?) …)

I count backwards from 100 – as my therapist tells me to do when I’m becoming unglued –

- when I’m about to fucking lose it -

I then frantically look for colors around me, as I begin to panic –

the billowy clouds in the sky are white –

the bench I’m sitting on is black –

[grounding myself… grounding myself…]

the grass around the bench is mostly green –

the sweater the mother with the baby in the stroller is wearing is a light shade of pink –

and the sidewalk – the walking path – is grey –

it’s fucking grey (like his skin)

I touch the metal arm of the bench I’m sitting on…

I then touch the cement beneath my feet –

My shirt feels like cotton or something similar…

[grounding myself… grounding myself…]

I smell lilacs – then I smell some other flower I don’t recognize and can’t identify


I will miss him. I will miss him deeply.


And, now, he does not breathe – because he’s dead…

he is no longer mine – because he’s dead

He was a junkie… he was my junkie…

…and I didn’t do a fucking thing to help him

- not a fucking thing


In both hands I clutch ice cubes –

[grounding myself… grounding myself]

I hold them tightly…

and I do not let go

Photo: Jimmy Broccoli with Caesar, the Therapy Bunny Rabbit.

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