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no one ever believes I'm an addict

by Ava Blu

I tell them of my life before,
the years of pawning items,
running the credit cards to the limit
and selling my body for just a little cocaine

no one ever believes these things

the counselors want to know the back-story of this young woman,
but isn't it how all the movies go?
the beautiful girl in the big house loses herself to substances,
the after-school special teaching kids not to do drugs

I'm no different from any of them,
yet you wouldn't believe it

how does the girl go from honors and scholarships to
fucking drug dealers

I had the rock-n-roll life
without the rock-n-roll

and yeah, I've slept in my car
and on a bench downtown
and on the beach

I've snorted lines off the chests of women
who didn't even know where they were,
all because someone said they thought I'd like the taste

I've locked myself in a room
with pillows and clothes lining the walls

I've let gay men fuck me in the ass
all because they said I couldn't handle their huge cock

I've been suffocated between bodies
not knowing who was inside me
and whose teeth were gnawing on my hair

I don't tell the stories
the faces of the counselors were enough to let me know that no one really wants to hear this shit

I hid it well
I could somehow function long enough around family

they'd question me about Granny's wedding ring,
the ring I pawned for $500,
the ring that was worth $6,000

and I tell them I still have it

they don't know how many times I've had to be tested for STDs,
sitting in the waiting room just knowing I must have something

they don't know that it all started when I was 10 and had my first lesbian experience with my cousin,
how we'd eat each other out and masturbate in front of the mirrors;

they don't know about me feeling like I must have molested her

am I a monster?
rhetorical - don't fucking answer

I've always said yes,
I've always thought I deserved to get an STD,
or at least a fucking overdose

but no, all I have are these goddamned stories
and one suicide attempt under my belt

even my pussy is still tight
go fucking figure

somehow I got all the luck
and nothing to really show for it

today I can't be around cocaine,
the powder so fucking intoxicating that my clothes
immediately want to fall off and let me roll around in it

I still swipe a pill or two from my roommate,
on the nights when there's just too much goddamned reason
to do it,
and only one little commercial on television showing what happens
to your brain on drugs;

it sure as hell isn't enough to make me stop

I am an addict,
that's the first step, right?
the first way to get over it,
but you don't ever get over it

you don't ever stop smelling it

and it was never just the drugs,
it was the whole fucking existence I had

sex, drugs, alcohol
I didn't have a boundary

when people start looking deformed,
when you imagine the flesh of your face
frying in that pan like the eggs in those commercials,
well, maybe that's when you might think about putting
the drugs down

and I know I tell these things like stories,
like something I made up
and you don't really know where the truth lies
(I kind of want it that way)

I'm afraid I've become too honest with my past
and not honest enough about my future,
but at least I'm not the train wreck
needing a padded room anymore.


Posted on 01/18/2009
Copyright © 2022 Ava Blu

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 01/19/09 at 12:04 AM

There's a million things I could probably say about this poem, about how powerful it is, how haunting every line feels, but I think I'll just keep it simple and tell you that this is one of the best things you've ever written.

Posted by Jared Fladeland on 01/19/09 at 02:35 AM

this poem fascinates me. mostly because i found myself, especially the last year or two of high school, teetering between two worlds. i was the "smart kid" in high school. but the last years, i was also the crazy kid. i could've easily been nudged in either direction. i had the friends who were slipping into heavy drug usage. but i also had the friends to balance me out. and i don't know much about if this is autobiographical or not, because i don't know enough about you. and i know that while many of my poems can speak about horrible things, they aren't necessarily true in the physical sense as much as a metaphysical sense. but your poem affected me. it made me stop and think. which is the best thing any piece of art can do, regardless.

Posted by Julie Adams on 01/20/09 at 12:54 AM

the power in this piece for me is the heroic open nature, the bold and brash revelations, the confessional exposure of the subject, whether the writer's self or not...these lines speak to those, like myself, who are still mustering up the courage to face such poems they yet to write, and for that I am eternally grateful for this piece and your presence here...peace to you, jewels

Posted by Frank Lee on 01/20/09 at 04:58 PM

very powerful piece. I can relate on many levels...new year, new name, same substance

Posted by Meghan Helmich on 01/22/09 at 04:33 PM

i can see why no one ever believes. but i do. and i believe in you. cheesy, yes.

Posted by Charlie Morgan on 05/14/09 at 05:22 PM

....blankety blank...girl, you are wonderfully raw in this...i am in awe of your gutsy, yet real perspective...

Posted by Quinn Vokes on 12/05/09 at 03:52 AM

you are absolutely fascinating. this is the second poem of yours I've read, and I'm entranced; not because I'm fantasizing your life, but because you make it so real and so raw and so... painfully exposed. but all the more beautiful because of it. - Quinn

Posted by Julie Adams on 01/25/10 at 07:23 PM

Ava, upon revisiting this piece, and reading Jon Kary's PS comment, my mind recalls a poem by Rumi called the Pickaxe, if you get a chance to read it, you might see how this raw piece can be like the demolition needed before a new structure/future can be erected...I am working on this reconstruction myself, and opening up to writing more flesh n bone pieces, ones I need to face...I don't want to assume anything about this piece, but it triggered that poem in my mind, so I wanted to share it...hugs, bright star, jewels

Posted by Beth K Hannah on 02/23/10 at 08:45 PM

your work is so raw, unique, and inspiring. This piece invoked so many emotions for me. thank you for showing such honesty

Posted by Mo Couts on 06/15/11 at 07:59 PM

This is raw, passionate, and real. I loved every word of it.

Posted by Tim D Livingston on 07/10/11 at 12:34 PM

That's a tough piece to start on first thing in the morning, half asleep, before church! I had to grab my coffee and think before commenting. I was thinking how I have never tried pot except at a Primus concert because there was nothing else to breathe. And even though I never went that route, I have known the pain in me, what it has driven me to do, and the capacity we all have to go that far and then some. Great work for sure.

Posted by Meghan Helmich on 08/22/11 at 08:00 PM

The last time I commented in January of 2009, I had no idea how much was to come for me. Upon re-reading, this poem means something entirely different. What a trip to read something I said before my life changed. Thanks Ava, still a great poem.

Posted by Sal Haefling on 10/20/11 at 09:57 PM

I can really relate to every single line of this poem.

Posted by Meghan Helmich on 12/02/11 at 08:16 PM

And you're right, the smell never really goes away. I taste it in the back of my throat often.

Posted by Carolyn Coville on 08/12/12 at 08:06 PM

I have no words to adequately describe how I feel the raw pain of this work. So glad I stumbled upon this gem.

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