• Jimmy Broccoli

If You Must Know His Name

I’m inhaling gasoline, benzine, petrol –

its smell fills my nostrils – I smell nothing else –

because I’ve poured it over my head –

Two gallons from a plastic container I bought yesterday at Target –

The gasoline penetrates my skin and soaks my clothing –

my hair damp, messy, and heavy


It’s afterhours and I’m in a deserted parking lot with no vehicles –

at least 100 feet from the nearby storefronts,

blocks from people sounds -

and I’m drunk, very drunk –

and alone – and sad – so very sad


My ancient enemy –

the one I thought I had slain and almost forgotten about –

(I had put away my sword and scabbard)

it’s back, he’s back

and, although I had forgotten his name for years, I remember it clearly now

he stares at me with hungry, big, and demanding eyes –

as I now stand drenched with only seconds remaining –

until I turn to smoke and ash and then, into deleted memories –

the ancient enemy will breathe in my essence and then eat my previous thoughts –

to digest them and to make them nothing, invisible, forgotten


he will breathe fire at me because he is the dragon –

I called him by name for the first time at age 8

I whispered his name aloud and softly, my breath as cold mist and visible –

while in my bedroom, alone –

a summer’s day that mentally felt more like mid-winter without a coat –

and I’m outside a house with a locked door with no doorknob or key


It’s too late and unnecessary to speak in elegant and fancy language –

- there is no need to use vivid imagery or to impress you with elaborate poetic devices -

there is no need to further speak at all


The ancient enemy

Depression (if you must know his name)

hesitates no more…


he breathes at me fire


and the gasoline begins to burn


Photo: Jimmy Broccoli


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