The War on the War

As kids we had code words
for all the imaginary drugs
we would do. The problem
was the chemicals erased
our brains so each day
we would build a new,
more secret language.
Our addictions perpetuated
unimagined words
that floated into our mouths
and we closed our faces
around them, all high
on the freshness of their edges.
Then the news of the war
lit up the living room.
By tying a necktie
around your head
you declared yourself
a freedom fighter
in the war on the war
on drugs. You wanted
me to believe
in nothing for once.
I remember how stoned
I imagined I was. Looking into
a mirror facing another mirror,
the hallway of reflections
lined with multiplied me’s,
I knew you were dead before
I knew you were dead.

Front page image by Dani_vr.

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Matt Rasmussen

About the Author

Matt Rasmussen is the author of Black Aperture which won the 2013 Walt Whitman Award. It was also a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award and was awarded the 2014 Minnesota Book Award for Poetry. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in The Literary Review, Gulf Coast, Water~Stone Review, Paper Darts, and elsewhere. He is a founder and editor of the independent poetry press Birds, LLC. and lives in Robbinsdale, Minnesota.
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