Outgrowing My Mentor

I sat at your feet;

only metaphorically.

As I remember it,

I sat on the couch,

as you, with your strangely lilting voice,

held my hand and walked me through;

patiently; meticulously;

the pitiless steps of the reverent ritual.

You were so gentle

as you wrapped the sash around my bicep;

laughed at the expression on my face

pinched the crook of my arm

to bruise and raise a vein.

And as you slid the needle in and we watched the blood

cloud the water inside,

you apologized, profusely,

for the infinitesimal pinprick that precedes the rapture.

I swore to you,

in that ghastly and gorgeous moment,

this is how it would always be;

that you would be there, by my side, every time,

to guide me down the path of night.

but like the other oaths that passed between us,

this too, was a hopeful lie.

The day came, as it was


destined to do,

that you were gone;

selling yourself

in the fashion required

for you to get by;

and the pull of oblivion

proved stronger, by far,

than either love or trust or art,

so I took the syringe and taught myself not to need

you anymore.


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