12-Step Death Sentence by Michael Marrotti

If I can help

one life

it’s worth

the time


At least

that’s what

I used to tell





this year though


New faces

keep showing up

for help

at alarming rates


All the old


are still clinging on

to the program



is a long road

rarely passed


I’ve never known

this many

dead people


in my life


It seems like

they pass away

on a weekly basis

my consciousness

is embedded

with their names

and faces


I come here

on my own


to make

a difference


my time

for the betterment

of the homeless


A year ago

I was eager

to show up

each week



It was different

back then

before the

constant influx

of new faces

overdoses and faith

rendered insufficient


I’d leave

with a feeling

of fulfilment

knowing I

made a difference



when I leave


takes over me


For each life

I help

three or more

will perish


I’ve never been

a fan of the


statistics are here

to confirm our

worst suspicions


I’m considering

not showing up

this coming week

its become detrimental

to my pocket

and overall wellbeing


Four hours of

voluntary work

at the Light Of Life

Rescue Mission

amongst the down-and-out

who refused to heed

the advice of Nancy Reagan


Has me placing

an order with

my dealer

when I can’t afford

the price of the product

or the price of making

a reoccurring trip

up and down

this 12-step

death sentence


Michael Marrotti is an author from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His chapbook, F.D.A. Approved Poetry, is available on Amazon. On his free time, he volunteers at the Light Of Life Rescue Mission. He is also the editor of Excavation, a poetry blog. Submissions are open: https://excavatingtheunderground.wordpress.com/


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