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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Denise Duhamel
Denise Duhamel
Born in 1961, Denise Duhamel is the author of numerous books and chapbooks of poetry...
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FURTHER READING
Poems about Drugs
Howl, Parts I & II
by Allen Ginsberg
Be Drunk
by Charles Baudelaire
Folly Stamp
by Prageeta Sharma
Hey Allen Ginsberg Where Have You Gone and What Would You Think of My Drugs?
by Rachel Zucker
Lunar Baedeker
by Mina Loy
Peyote Poem [excerpt]
by Michael McClure
Phases
by Michael Redhill
Screening Desire
by R. Zamora Linmark
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The Threat

 
by Denise Duhamel

my mother pushed my sister out of the apartment door with an empty 
suitcase because she kept threatening to run away  my sister was sick of me
getting the best of everything  the bathrobe with the pink stripes instead of 
the red  the soft middle piece of bread while she got the crust  I was sick with 
asthma and she thought this made me a favorite

I wanted to be like the girl in the made-for-tv movie Maybe I'll Come Home
in the Spring   which was supposed to make you not want to run away but it 
looked pretty fun especially all of the agony it put your parents through and 
the girl was in California or someplace warm with a boyfriend and they
always found good food in the dumpsters  at least they could eat pizza and 
candy and not meat loaf  the runaway actress was Sally Field or at least
someone who looked like Sally Field as a teenager  the Flying Nun propelled 
by the huge wings on the sides of her wimple  Arnold the Pig getting drafted
in Green Acres my understanding then of Vietnam  I read Go Ask Alice and 
The Peter Pan Bag books that were designed to keep a young girl home  but 
there were the sex scenes and if anything this made me want to cut my hair 
with scissors in front of the mirror while I was high on marijuana but I
couldn't inhale because of my lungs  my sister was the one to pass out
behind the church for both of us  rum and angel dust

and that's how it was  my sister standing at the top of all those stairs that 
lead up to the apartment and she pushed down the empty suitcase that
banged the banister and wall as it tumbled and I was crying on the other side 
of the door because I was sure it was my sister who fell  all ketchup blood and 
stuck out bones  my mother wouldn't let me open the door to let my sister 
back in  I don't know if she knew it was just the suitcase or not  she was cold 
rubbing her sleeves a mug of coffee in her hand and I had to decide she said I 
had to decide right then






From Girl Soldier, Garden Street Press, 1996. Reprinted with permission of Denise Duhamel.
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