after Kübler-Ross

Adrian Belmes

The last day I saw you in this city, I didn’t even know you were leaving.
I just meant to drop by and bring you some pills.
Rough night? You promised me you’d wait six months,
but crises are rarely so polite as to be patient.

You told me once that nobody moves to be a better person,
and because we have a grasp of object permanence, I know I’ll miss
the comfort of syringes that aren’t mine. You can’t remove the addict
from the trap house. You can’t divide the author
from the work they write.

Friendship is a hug held too long.
It’s a horror movie. A good one. Irresponsibly good!
Or, we think we’re watching a horror movie,
but it’s really about love. We think the bay isn’t far,
but it’s far enough.

Every day, my life is falling all around me.
I can never hold it enough.
Adrian Belmes is a reasonably depressed Jewish-Ukrainian poet residing currently in San Diego. He is editor in chief of Badlung Press and has been previously published in Back Patio Press, X-R-A-Y Magazine, and elsewhere. His chapbook, "this town and everyone in it", was published by Ghost City Press. You can find him at or @adrian_belmes.