I once visited a church
where a preacher claimed
we could drink poison without
harm, provided our faith never
wavered. Drink from the living
water, he says. You will never
suffer again. I knew a woman
who drank Kamikazes, lime juice
and vodka, with a name that invokes
missions slated to end with certain
death. Does self-inflicted pain hurt less?
Only if you don’t count the mantra,
You did this to yourself, persistent
as you wish the obliteration would be.
Michelle Brooks has published a collection of poetry, Make Yourself Small,(Backwaters Press), and a novella, Dead Girl, Live Boy, (Storylandia Press). A native Texan, she has spent much of her adult life in Detroit, her favorite city.