"1319 Iris Circle #3"

another final point had been reached:
another grief-silent 3 a.m.
she placed the gun under her chin
heavy with Xanax and heroin
and told me that this time, she fucking meant it

I screamed at her not to be so stupid
and to put the gun down for christ’s sake
she looked at me with her pinned shell-shocked eyes
and conceded.

the things I had seen with this woman-
needles probing breasts for shrinking, retreating veins
cocaine induced grand mal seizures
and armies of cock swallowed for a balloon of dope or a rock

she handed me her father’s handgun with a resigned sob
and I placed it back under the bookshelf

I smile sadly, in light of what came next
to think that I told her
If you can just hang on, things are bound to improve

she made me a liar, too –
the woman who dug the hole
I’ve been trying to write myself out of
ever since

 (p. 59)

 About the poem: 1319 Iris Circle was one of my last addresses in Los Angeles before I was made homeless because of my addiction to heroin. It is also a poem about my second wife, who was also an addict. I was trying to write something that would hopefully capture a little of the hopelessness and futility that I felt back then. It was a scene that I'd later revisit in "Down and Out on Murder Mile" which tells the story of my marriage to "Susan".