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—