assimilation 


crinkle of a cup in a white hand
in her other, there is a blunt
beside me, the friend I made during welcome week is snorting lines 
before my friend went missing, he used to call it piedra
cocaine sitting on a porcelain kitchen top
and the room is dense 

i’m old fashioned, i'm saying to a boy
white in every sense of the word
i step out of the party to smoke, not weed, but
what this narco neighbor used to, asking if I wanted 
cigarettes put out on my skin so that I have these discolored marks
on arms that are shutting their eyes
urging desires I wish I did heroin
i wish I injected my veins the way this boy in my hometown used to sell to white boys
before he went missing too

this girl she steps out of the party and wants me to know that
she understand that maybe I’m religious or maybe I just don’t like drugs
she accepts it and those white fingers are wrapped around a joint
gaze probably bleeds off my face

unwrapping this box now
i knew a lot of people that I don’t anymore
they probably won't find them either
but sometimes there are videos
an IPhone in the brown hand of a friend back home
a chest coming open like a book
getting a little disemboweled right before math class

in the party, everyone is this white girl
drinking smoking snorting injecting
and I smoke too but I smoke different
i fit in here
carefully knocking on this skull
hoping childhood companions died for something 

when they tortured this old friend of mine to death
those days after my grandma says the pueblo wasn’t like this
when it is silent outside a store that has been boarded up
if someone smells like weed they are cool
girl

and this boy comes up asking me
if I want to inject myself
this man down the street used to beg me for help
they were threatening to butcher his family
had already done it to his legs and he’s showing
me
suckling the end of a syringe unless he fulfilled this demand for supply and

chewing cigarettes like gum
my white friend has class tomorrow
i think I’ve pulled my lungs out of my mouth, laid them down on the table
everyone goes to bed
they all have class tomorrow
there is a grave of neighbors between her fingers




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by R.Z. Picazo
​ ©2020  Madison Laskowski
R.Z. Picazo is an emerging writer with no previous publications. When he's not wandering around his college aimlessly, he writes poetry on napkins and the Twitter DMs of people he doesn't like. 


© 2020 West Trade Review
Madison Laskowski is a self-taught photographer from Rhode Island who likes to explore forgotten places that few go and enjoys capturing frames stuck in time. You
can view more of her work on Instagram @princess_zelduh