For You at the Opiate Clinic

with the syringe stuck
to your name, you

close yourself wide
open, close off by opening

the cellophane—rustling
piles of leaves.

Once, I mistook
your dry heave

As a morning coo, early
& sweet, from the bathroom.

You empty yourself
of the delight you'd

stuffed into your skin
the night before.

The smell of vinegar
floods the tongue, drowns

the mouth for a phone
number. Call me

when you need it most.
If only you could let me

know how difficult it is
to love anything

more than you love
yourself. Then I'd know

The river that courses through
you. It’s tar before river

& river before song, you say,
so I sing as I pave this road to you.


Drew Cannedy is a Texan freezing in the Midwest where he is an MFA student at Minnesota State University.