The Heroine and the Can

so this culture is constructed from the crack of the can
and it's raw it's dirt poor it's not an act
because you have to go below low to get beyond high
coulda been a butcher coulda been a doctor
but now you need the heroin more than air
been a lifetime since you acted your age

this is not a new day not a new age
your life depends on the deposit of a can
and if err is human then you are the err
and i love to watch the way you act
when you get the five bucks for your great needle doctor
in front of key food babbling shitting yourself and high

sometimes i get jealous wishing i could get that high
and not care whether it's now or the ice age
but no matter if you're a skid row genius or an ass doctor
the evil h will kill you because it can
it doesn't play around or skip or act
it just comes right up and devours all your air

and i won't shit myself or put on a schizophrenic air
but i truly wonder what it's like to be that high
how the power of the horse would alter my act
how quickly my health would shatter how fast i'd age
and wonder and wonder grateful that i can
because i've never gone to that street corner godly doctor

and you don't care if there's any news screaming doctor doctor
bring me my life bring back my black teeth bring my shit stains my air
save me break me craze me only you can
agonizing and snapping it's been nineteen hours since you got high
spreading your legs for ten bucks regardless of disease or their age
you can't wait you need your bag of death now act

but when you're dead you can't act
when you're dead there is no doctor
when you're dead you don't age
when you're dead you don't need air
when you're dead you can't get high
and maybe you should do it go ahead and die in a can

so complete your act rid yourself of air
your doctor's waving high hi
die at an early age because you can

by Angela J. Perry

Angela J. Perry is a NYC poet living in the East Village. She has a poem that appears on fashion designer "Heatherette's" Spring '06 line. She's the resident poet at the Manhattan Theatre Source. Her poems have appeared in over a dozen online journals. Her poem 'Love is in the Eye of the Besotted' was nominated for a Pushcart Prize this year. She has a poem that will appear in the upcoming print publication Caesura. Her nickname is Chicken.

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