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

myself

 

Everything

changed

this year though

 

New faces

keep showing up

for help

at alarming rates

 

All the old

clients

are still clinging on

to the program

 

Rehabilitation

is a long road

rarely passed

 

I’ve never known

this many

dead people

before

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

volition

to make

a difference

sacrificing

my time

for the betterment

of the homeless

 

A year ago

I was eager

to show up

each week

religiously

 

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

 

Now

when I leave

pessimism

takes over me

 

For each life

I help

three or more

will perish

 

I’ve never been

a fan of the

arithmetic

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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