Seek the pusher in the bands
of shadow cordoning the trees.
Silver glitters in his cratered eyes,
with moondust in dimebags.
He dangles one,
flicks it so the residue settles,
holy manna from an astronaut's boot.
Once was, for the thrill he sells,
you signed away a soul.
Now it's cheap as a little blood
left dripping on the holly, a grope
swiftly ended beneath hawthorn spines,
or the bark peeled from a memory
that matters to no one but you:
see it come to life and wriggle
in his stunted hands.
His rat teeth flash, reflections
of the glow from your bag.
Draw your hood tight, and don't let his fingers
press against yours too long.
Soon barricaded in the closet
of your room, alone
with the famished dark; pull the spoon
from your mouth, let something sour
drip into your dreams and burn
a page to set the mixture boiling.
Savor this dollop of alchemy,
this dribble of ectoplasm, your voyage
beyond the coral shelf
of the bloodstream. The boosters
have survived the launch,
no need for a new needle.
But the expedition always ends too soon.