Alexander Long
Still Life with an Addict

He’s way too stoned. Again. It’s cold out there,
But there he is, a left, a right, Ali,
Or Cassius Clay, the shadow. Fuck you, boy.
I’ll drop your ass, rag-ass mother-fucker.
There’s no one there, but there he swings, then holds
His index finger up so all take heed
To all he can’t not say. He’s gone. The crack,
Or angel dust, or methamphetamine—
The names don’t seem to matter much. It’s all
The same rush that puts his past right inside
My ear. And now I hear the future. What?
You gonna what? I dare you.
No one there,
Except for Clay, Ali. They’re not the same.
Ain’t got no heart. I’m the one with heart, bitch.
Shit. Drop your ass in one, two, Rope-a-Dope.

He has a voice. He has two hands. He floors
The air with three hard blows, and then falls down.
His breath is white and crystalled. The still life
Is in the breath, how it hangs there, freezing.
He stands up, kissing his blood-cracked knuckles.



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