Tag Archives: drugs




The cloth dampened and draped over the bowl,
she set the dough near the radiator to rise,
warned her children to leave it alone,
resist their urge to lift the towel
and watch the pale mass surge upwards,
poke the warm blob with tiny fingers.

“It isn’t clay,” she reminded.
“You want fresh bread,
you leave that be,”
she said as she wiped her hands
on the dishrag hanging off her shoulder.
Left to attend to a baby’s cry.

Alone in the small kitchen,
the boy and girl scooted
the metal step-stool closer,
eyes now even with the yellow
of the bowl’s top edge.

To reveal the hidden
and delight in the silky touch,
or defer their pleasure,
let the sour-smelling
alchemic yeast transform
a toy to a buttered feast?

Although he could remember
even the chill
of that particular day,
the burnt orange
of his sister’s sweater
as they teetered together,
he could not recall their choice.

He held the lighter underneath
the scrap of tinfoil and watched
the brown powder turn liquid,
drew it up in the syringe
he’d found on the floor,
and lost interest in the answer.

Smiling as the needle
sunk into the white of his arm,
he dreamed of perfect loaves.

April 2015
Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 8




First (Unmoored)


Much better, she said,

Everything is on an upswing.

I feel almost normal,

Whatever that means.

It had gotten to the point

Where it felt like my body

Was just splitting apart.

My limbs felt like they might

Float away,

So I dropped anchor

While there was something 


Tethered myself to the wood 

Of the first sturdy dock.

I was still on surging water

But moored in a cove of

Love and promise

While oceans of existences

Flooded beneath the floor boards.

He’s an attorney

Who writes music

For big-shots in Nashville.

He usually brings the beer.

“I mean, when you have troops

Of people walking around 

Losing their religions

In hollowed out cores” she said.

But he wasn’t paying attention,

So she dug out 

The McCormick spice container

She’d hidden on her closet shelf.

A home for two, thick Blue Dream  joints,

A gift from her friends in Colorado.

Lit one, she sucked in smoke, potent and potion,

Breathed in blue dreams, streams and steaming

Lassitudes, masses, boxes and volumes, and air,

Assumed forms of light.

And her eyelids drooped

And her breathing slowed.

She was having none of that.

March 2015

Exquisite Corpse Poem

Zombie  Salon members: Andrew, Anne, Julie, Tricia

American Way


man in the blue business suit and tie
trench coat to keep this morning’s rain off your Armani
you stand next to me in line at Starbucks by the Hippodrome
your face puffy
tired eyes down
do the drugs feel heavy
where you tucked them in your pocket
the drugs you just scored
from the cupless man at the table by the door

will you soon become one of the gravity defiers
who hover over the sidewalks near my office
after they’ve visited the methadone clinic around the corner
or will you remain
Wolf of Wall Street
bloated and rich
a privileged member of the drug class
pro border walls
anti Affordable Care Act
three strikes
you’re always in

November 2014
Julie Ayers




Behind the cash register at the Royal Farm,
the blond boy with the big smile
and the baggie of pills in his pocket
who will be dead by 2:27 am,
his friends stopping the car
in front of his parents’ house
just long enough to leave his cooling body
next to the masonry pillar mailbox
where his mother will discover it
when she backs out of the driveway
early Saturday morning on her way to
the boot camp she joined
because she’s about to turn 50
and wants to enter
the next half of her life
with the same series of numbers
on the bathroom scale
that showed the day she graduated
from high school.

He took the job at Royal Farm
to show his dad
he wasn’t lazy,
saving up to pay his own way
to Cancun for spring break
since he hadn’t maintained the 3.5 GPA
his parents had insisted as condition
for their footing the bill.

The news of his potential existence
had caused his mother to sink
to the floor seventeen years prior,
sob with relief and a joy too big to hold
his father kneeling next to her on the tile,
resting his hands gently on her quaking back.
She’d been trying to conceive for six years,
consulted a fertility expert
to identify any issues,
explore options.

She never ceased to love him
with that very same intensity,
even when he totaled the car,
forgot her 47th birthday and didn’t get a card
or gift so weeded the flower bed by the pond
or when he told her he hated her
when she grounded him for a full month
from electronics for buying online games
with her credit card without permission.
$682 worth of League of Legends and in-game purchases.

After his funeral,
she cuts her hair short
and rarely smiles,
drops out of boot camp
and spends most days standing
by the dining room window
holding an empty coffee mug
and staring out towards the pond,
the view of water
now almost entirely obstructed by thistle,
beds full of suffocating thorns,
choking out even the smallest bloom.


Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 28






Dopamine                    Norepinephrine


      Oxytocin              Vasopressin

tumbles you haplessly into love

the steep in an irresistible biological stew

your shove off of the chemical cliff

into a world carved of drugged illusion

lured by the familiar

intoxicated by the difference

a trick of primordial nature

to incite mad acts of procreation

December 2012

Julie Ayers