Kirsten Mayse

33 Ways to Measure an Overdose

1. August 9, 1986

        2. exchanges of Jameson
                                                                and shoestring fries

                    3. parted, chapped lips

          4. your girlfriend
                                                                            5. collection
of magazines                       on trunk,

                                           6. black  lights

        7. powder topped cigarettes

                                                                            8. split ecstasy,

9. fumbling          with ice cube trays

         10. $75 plasma donation centers

11. blood banks,

colors,                                       names matching tags

12. howling “Somebody to Love”,                    one eyeing

13. mini baggies           stashed in dollars
        stashed in              weeks old pants
                                                                14. tangled limbs

        15. I read Virginia,                                    you listened

                                   16. exhales of I love you

      17. crossed legs,          heads resting in palms

  18. shared craft beers

                                           19. messages you didn’t write

         20. ice broken down,            mothers cancelled Visa

                                   21. suboxone strips

                                           22. mirrors

23. work bathrooms,                    bodies on bodies,

                                 pressed to plaster wall

   24. seizures                                     next to dropped food

                                 25. calculations             of heroin consumed

                                           26. backpack left

                                 27. I met Roxy

         28. you came,           too

    29. stored air released,

mistaken                   for a breath

30. obituaries

                                                                31. December 27, 2019

  32. handing              your glasses              to chaplain

33. your needle,                           my finding.

Kirsten is a Memphis native. She is a student at the University of Memphis. She has previously been published in the Red Cedar Review.