high school

though he wasn’t one
the waveboys all revered him
the smartest one they said

any irony unintended

heard he was something davis
but they all called him chickenfatty
don’t know why

and didn’t know him
or ever even spoken to him
when he told me he had two hits
and did I want to drop one
and I said

but when he asked if I wanted to shoot
cause it comes on faster and stronger that way
I said no

and swallowed mine down quick and
followed him to some gas station restroom
where I watched him dissolve his
in a bottlecap of water
tie his belt round his arm
and tell me to pull it tight
which I did while the cellblock walls
melted and swirled all around us
and the needle emptied slowly in
til it and time finally came to a stop

took him even longer to pull it back out
pick everything up and turn to leave
without saying a word

at which point
scared as I was
I got up the nerve to ask him

do you feel it

he stopped
turned back
leaned over the cracked sink
got up real close to the broken mirror
widened and stared into his eyes
like he was looking for something

something it seemed to me
he saw but didn’t find

then quietly almost politely answered
yeah I think so

which is when I knew it was true
he really was somewhere none of us were
where even the drug walloping me couldn’t reach

month or so later we heard
his mother had found him
hanging in his room

no longer having to keep on
not feeling anything