Pureland by Donna Dallas

I took brandy from the sitter I placed it to my lips my tongue shrank
I kept to it I took the cigarette from your mouth
I took the needle pricked the vein I salved the sores
that festered between my toes and inside my thighs
I fought in the alleys and smoked the pipe I shared it
with whoever made it back I slept under the trestle I danced
ass cheeks out under a DJ screaming motherfucker
I prayed in a doorway escaping a rainstorm from
Mother Mary I crawled into a rancid bed that smelled – I smelled
I turned you on your side to vomit out of your mouth and not
choke to death I watched the stars with you sickened
with the HIV I confessed don’t you know it
I told all until I was spent and reduced to a bug
I walked the bridge barefoot along the metal railing afraid
of nothing and if I fell off….if I did….
I watched thieves murder the innocent and ransack
their belongings I picked through took this and that
I swallowed all pride turned myself over to foster strangers
to heal me to study me because
only the strong survive in this……they want
to write about me what’s there to say I’ve told it all
to that homeless clan who would listen in dead silence as I
coiled around them serpent-like with fascinating tales when
I ran through this city brimming with an insatiable thirst……

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