I AM NOTHING I THOUGHT I’D EVER BE BY NOW (And Have No Idea How I Got Here)

by Paulie Lipman

1.
The drugs
are too easy to blame

It is amazing how
forgiving folks are
when you add
meth
cocaine
young 
stupid 
tripping so hard
my face was melting
into my lap 
to stories
of truly reprehensible
actions

It is disturbing how
forgiving I can be
of myself

2.
Heaven and
methamphetamine
share too many syllables
to not be related

20 years old
7 years since the inside of
a synagogue and the
only bright idea I had 
was how to hollow out
a light bulb so I could
freebase

This is the only way
a Jewish boy can
ever truly understand 
communion
The rock, the body
Light bulb, chalice
Smoke, His blood
Me, the new trinity:
altar boy/censer/hollow
holy ghost

3.
Jewish boys have
their own holy trinity:
God
Mother
Therapist
I have only shared the details
of my two sexual assaults
with God and several
hundred people
I don’t think my mother
could handle it and I
can’t afford a therapist anymore
that’s why I write/perform
I don’t ask for/give forgiveness
to my assaulters
just God, my mother
and myself

My former therapist
would understand

4.
I still listen to
albums older than
my sobriety

At 25 
you know only
bright eyed Oblivion
If you make it to 41
you take stock of
all the lessons
all the experiences
experiments/friends
collisions/turns taken
and still wonder if 
making it to now was
the smartest move
I can’t blame
the drugs anymore
or ignorance
or youth
my mother
or therapist

All I have left
is God and myself
and I can’t tell 
which one of us
is wrong

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