Mikey’s idea of going on the wagon
was sorrowfully to pour that final flagon
of single malt whiskey down the drain,
then switch to marijuana and cocaine.

He simply couldn’t comprehend the danger
of drying out. Although he was no stranger
to white knuckling through vomit and the shakes,
he didn’t know he gamed for mortal stakes.

Three times I have been felled by lightning pain
as seizures short-circuited my brain;
Three times, waking in hospitals at dawn
all memory of my poetry was gone,

and once I’d nearly bitten through my tongue.
Let me leave self-destruction to the young
who need not fear, not yet, the fatal stroke
that lifted from my friend addiction’s yoke.