Sometimes I have to write. The kids are in bed. I’m trying to sleep. My mind won’t shut off.
Two days ago, I came face to face with a man who overdosed on heroin. I felt so powerless. I felt the urge to bubble wrap my kids, all our kids. Now that the shock is starting to wear off, I feel the need to do something different.
It starts by sharing this experience with you and hoping the next step reveals itself to me after that.
Cradled safely in the crease of his cargo shorts,
the ash on his cigarette
fading from pale orange
We’re at the corner of South Maple and Lockwood.
His red Powerade
balanced on the emergency brake
with only the first few sips
Yes, I took the keys out of his ignition.
Yes, he is breathing.
In the driver’s seat
his head on his chest
impervious to the lights and sirens
But for me and Cathy
hoping to save his life
That’s what you get for trying heroin.
He spat the words
at the sleeping man
their poison not staining
his own crisp white shirt
against another call
to another place
for another person
he can’t save