Duality

Another poem about addiction

Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

What greater duality is there but here,
and not here.
Breathing,
and not breathing.
The possibility of seeing the one you love,
and never seeing them again?

It encompasses light and dark,
life and death,
breath and stillness,
possibility and the closure of possibility.

It’s growth, change, hope
versus stasis. It’s hope
versus the obliteration of hope.

It’s Ruby’s life before February 7th,
and after.
It’s Ruby before February 7th,
and after.

It’s the Ruby of the Christmas party
several years ago,
standing in the doorway between
my kitchen and the hallway,
when she said,

“I know we share that… both of our kids…”
are tangled up in drugs,
she meant.
I’m sure she didn’t
say it right out
like that.

She would have used
a euphemism,
or hinted,
or spoken
a partial sentence
and let me fill in the rest.

But say it she did. She formed
that equivalence with me.
In that moment,
she connected us
differently than we’d been
connected before.

Sure, I knew about Aurora.
I’d heard she’d gotten
tangled up in drugs.
And yes, so had Liam.
And yes, I’d been worried
about Liam.

Worried enough to
pull up stakes and
move to Argentina
to once and for all
remove him from
the environment,
his friends,
his dealers,
the culture.

Some say it worked.

I don’t know what worked,
or even for sure if it did work.
It’s worked for now,
is all I can say.
It’s worked thus far.

And nothing worked for Aurora.
And now,
nothing can work
for Aurora.

Writer, copywriter, editor, and word lover. Subscribe to my newsletter at christywhite.substack.com

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