A Childhood Altered

At fifteen it was nitrous.

Just a tiny puff and the world goes black.

Little Kings, of course,



Marlboro Lights.


What would a house look like

made from all the rectangular packs of

Marlboro Lights?

A thousand square foot starter or a mansion with mother-in-law suite?

Weed came later,

from Byron and Colorado

til it got too “good”

and made me cry instead of laugh.

The eight balls,

the slips of paper cut into tiny squares,

the red red wine.


As the petrol fumes

creep into my nose at the station,

dutifully grasping the pump,

a familiar dizziness,

that old giddiness.

I do not turn away.


The Crayola markers

just after popping the top off

take me back to dirty apartments with

ashtrays brimming over,

clothing piled everywhere.

Then we color stars and planets.










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