Linda Scheller

To My Addiction

I loved the violet red weight of your hands
on my shoulders, the quick winks you threw 
to my smile. You were that shearing friend 
who followed me to California, to Maine,
to nowhere. You were my sidecar, my costume,
my portal to a new, insouciant personality.
How I loved the way you made me laugh 
and dance and dive off second story balconies 
into the turquoise pool at night, the gasp
of cold water and shocked strangers.
We showed them, didn’t we? Of course,
I didn’t love the way you made me feel
the next morning, leaden-headed, bilious,
thin with thirst. Still, I had to love you.
You lent me confidence. 
You took it back.

And yes, I knew you were lying to me. 
I knew you would kill me eventually, 
but everyone dies, right? We were so close
I couldn’t fall asleep without you
whispering and stroking my hair
as I knelt on the bathroom floor. 
A hard day—and they were all hard,
now that I think about it—meant you
were waiting for me, my acid reward
softening the sharp edges and pillowing 
the little voices that always, always said 
I should’ve done better. I loved you
the way a crow loves stealing keys, 
the way the topsoil loves the wind.