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Origin of a Drug Addict

By <a href="/centrovoices/meet-the-authors/magdalena-gomez">Magdalena Gómez</a>

Origin of a Drug Addict

Mr. Bloom’s candy store:

oak shelves

glass barrel jars

creaking floor slats

stray cats

nickel bars with names like


Pay Day



Holy Communion:

Necco Wafers and Grape Crush


Violet squares

in silver foil,

dissolve into lilac

toilet water

on the tongue.


Bubble Gum cigarettes

fake smoke

to feel glamorous



blonde and blue-eyed,

in our everything but




to the blare

of our mispronounced names

by teachers who hated

our guts

drilling multiplication tables

into us

with chain gang precision.

Cringing all through grade school.

More damage than whiplash.


Penny candies in brown sacks


the nervous kids

the slow kids

the no speak English kids

the vitamin deficient lethargic kids

the cold water hurts in winter kids

the mattress on the floor kids

the paste eating kids

the ask too many questions kids

the comemoco kids

the slurring, stuttering, lisping kids

the polio and scoliosis kids

the too many last names kids

the Brillo head kids

the buck-toothed kids

the bad breath kids

the sandals in winter kids

the abacus not chalk kids

the yarmulke kids

the huele a bacalao kids

the church on Wednesdays kids

the write on their arms with ink kids

the finger through the fly kids

the your mama’s on welfare kids

the carve penises into their desks kids

the rice sandwich for lunch kids

all ended up in the retard class.

Trust me, I know.

Sugar Babies deformed

in anxiety’s sweaty pocket

milk money pennies hidden in socks

pressing Lincoln

deep into their heels

until they can no longer stand straight,

stand tall

pushed back down

to color inside the lines

of alphabet clowns

and shapes with respectable names


Retards dream of Mr. Bloom’s

candy jars.  Little brown bags

rattle sweet relief.


Last row, last seat, kid

top of his head

is all the teacher sees kid,

eyebrows arch in threat

behind her National Enquirer.


Ruler snaps,

dust falls from the flag

clock’s evil grin

holds at 2:45.


Little brown bag

airplane glue kid,

his face

Evening in Paris blue.

© Magdalena Gomez. Reprinted by permission in Centro Voices on 11 April 2015.