Twenty-Two Pills

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My father counts his OxyContin obsessively.
Probably because I steal them,
two or four at a time, and sell them to

ninth graders who pay ten bucks for ten milligrams.
They take them at lunch, with milk,
and return to class with dime-sized pupils.

There are only eight left when there should be thirty.
He counts one morning, and his hardened face
goes blank, eyes blinking hard as if
the missing pills might reappear.

I stare into my generic cereal
and feel a pang of guilt,
because at one point his body needed drugs

and now his mind does.
My cereal is soggy and I leave the table,
pills in pocket.





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