Heroin by Merideth Spriggs[1]


Hello, you don’t have a problem. You didn’t even see me coming. It started with a back injury.  OxyContin is safe your doctor said because it will help you sleep, but the pharmacy cut you off. You’re not a junky.


You beg for more but a friend offers you a name and a number for a guy. Your mind is racing.  The pain, chills and sweating are more than you can bear. You’ve lost your job but all you can think of is getting something so you aren’t sick.  You’re not a junky.


You found a magical powder. You break it up and snort it. It’s like heaven, almost like your first pill. The warm blanket of comfort is all coming back and the horrible sickness is gone. Hello my friend, it is good to meet you. I’m so sexy you can’t resist me and after the first snort we will be together till the end. You’re not a junky.


You heard the easiest way to not get sick is to use a needle.  You find a vein and stab the needle in. Do you feel that? I’m inside of you, again pulsing and coursing through your blood. So wonderful we are going at it again. You’re not a junky.


I work through your body so well that you sleep for days. “Wake up now”, Metro are at your door.  You got evicted and they are here to get you out. You have 2 hours. I don’t care, I’ll come with you. You’re not a junky.


One night in the park together is fine, you think. You meet another one of my lovers in the park. He tells you about a safe space to sleep, “The old Moulin Rouge”. He says he promises you will love it. It’s filled with my current lovers.  I can’t wait to go with you. You’re not a junky.


You run out of clean needles.  “It’s okay,” my other lovers tell you, “they are clean.” Help of Southern Nevada & Westcare come to save you and get you housed, but you and I have more time together and you can’t wake up for your appointment with them because I’ve worn you out from our late night session.  You’re not a junky.


New sores start to form; you’ve never seen them before.  You struggle to find a place to let me in, so you have your new friends help. It’s never as good as the first time but you and I aren’t done. Help of Southern Nevada comes again but you say, “I need more time.”  You’re not a junky.


Helplessly you cry out trying to find a vein. You find one behind your knee. With one quick thrust of a dull needle you put me in you, but you didn’t notice I brought my friend. She is a sexy little thing called fentanyl. We come inside of you hard and fast as you drop to the ground. You’re not a junky.


It will be two days before my other lovers, your supposed friends, notice your cold body.  The party went on around you.  The call to 911 is for nothing.  I had my way with you.  Now I’m done.  You’re not a junky, you’re dead.

[1] © 2018 Merideth Spriggs. This poem was originally written and read at Straight from the Street’s 2017 Homeless Vigil.  Of the 160 homeless that died on the streets of Southern Nevada, 47 of those were to heroin.