Looking up and down that stretch of sewer
Through which I’ve sluiced this wan, addictive life:
Cooking the books, obliterating tracks
Whooping up while no one else was watching,
Dull to my family all those after-days.
It’s all run backwards, all these rising pains
Culled and crafted chronically long ago;
Fits of cleansing, soon overwashed again
By numbing gulps of bitter eye-candy,
Those neon-cunning pornographic trails
I stalked, and when I could have bailed, instead
Chose fog and soundproofed walls for twelve long years.
Now, how to root the numbness out, and live?
Plow on–keep breathing–dredge your love to give.
Robbie Gamble is a nurse practitioner working with homeless families in the Boston area. His poetry has appeared recently in Acorn, Monkey’s Fist, Modern Haiku, and the 2005 Robert Frost Foundation Anthology.