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J e n n i f e r   M a r t e l l i


At That First Shot of Dope 

After 3-1/2 Years of Abstinence 

Just Before You Overdosed, 

I Hope It Was As If 


you opened a door and the host 

of the party called, She’s here! and rose 


to hand you a glass of red wine, grasped 

your elbow and led you to a group 


(that opened their circle so you could join 

to hear some gossip they’ve waited to tell) 


where a woman warmly remembered you 

and your poetry, and reached to touch 


your white silk shift: you didn’t spill 

a drop of red wine down its front 


and it’s fine that you wore sleeveless, too, 

from wrist to crook, your arms, 


like a swimmer’s, were veined 

and long and smooth again—

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