If It Took Us Down Then, What About Now? by Donna Dallas

On the days when my only friend 
came to visit her mom 
her mom would clean herself up
they’d sit tight knotted 
table in between
and chain smoke

after her mother left the table to shoot up
my friend would ring my bell
we’d head to the train trestle and sit
with legs dangled over the bridge
smoke all the cigs she clipped from her mom
we threw rocks at the top
of the freight train
as it whipped by 
scream mother fucker 
no one to see 
hear us 
or care

When we returned 
we would find her mother 
curled up in the corner 
drool running down her chin

My friend would be on the juice by eighteen
and prostituting from the same 
two rooms her mother crawled 
through half dead
to be carted out—half a veg
sent to another rehab

When we kissed 
atop that weed-filled bridge
the train speeding so fast
under our worn sneakers 
we didn’t realize the electricity
that ran through us
charged our limbs
melded us together
as heavyweights
we just didn’t see it 
coming straight for us

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