Desert Drug

Nothing, no effect, which is to say
     I’m not brilliant.
Which is to say that when I pop this jaw
     my tongue only goes so far.
It does not put out fires or fill parking lots.
     It does not taste basil.
The stack of books I burn, the stains of
     paint I cover with newer, truer stains.
And tomorrow do the same, sodden with
     grass that refuses to grow straight,
beset by prescriptions I can’t fill. My first
     instinct toward a bottle of brown glass
is to recycle it. I pray they take it
     from the curb in their
bone-crushing, environment-saving Fords,
     sucking down glass and plastic once
society has licked it clean of drug and—
     what is there besides drug? Memory.
Yes, memory. Drug and memory like
     oil and water. There is no drug for memory,
no ginko biloba. The drug for memory is
     no drug, and beyond that no drug further.
Just water and cheese and bread. Not even
     beaujolais villages. A picnic in the desert,
awed by the curlew’s call, drunk on mountains
     and how far away they are we’ll never know.

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