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Figure trapped inside of a pill bottle
Photo illustration by Jillian Wesner

Within less than 60 days,
I’ve lost two fellow comrades and friends
To drug overdose while incarcerated.
Both were going to parole within a couple of months,
And in a couple of years,
To capture their physical freedom.
They’re the equivalent of
My older cousin and little brother.

Man, man, man,
Left behind.

This has become personal and is touching my heart now.
Is this a sign that I’ll be next?
Because they’re both my comrades and friends,
But were my brothers in crime in the past,
With the thing known as drug addiction.
The monkey that resides on the back
That my troopers could no longer uplift,
Because it transformed into a gorilla.

Truth is
I might have been the first victim of us three,
If 18 months ago, I didn’t find my purpose and passion
In writing, take it serious and practice sobriety
After 20 years of hardcore substance abuse.

Their mishaps
Have turned into a rabbit's foot
For me to resist the urge daily,
And continue to practice my sobriety.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Global Forum Online has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

E.D.H. is a poet who was raised in Compton in Los Angeles. He is currently incarcerated in California. He has asked to be published under his pen name.