At the needle exchange she came
in, short purple hair, skinny, beautiful,
pupils wide with junk yen. Urgently
she tugged my coat, said, “Marc, I think

someone sold me a bad gram. I chipped
a piece off it three times, shot it, just keep
getting sicker each time I run it
into my blood.” She held it out

to me. I took it into my hand, rumblings
of deep dope yen awakening full-bore
inside me. I held the chunk to
my nose and sniffed it. With sorrow

in my eyes, I peered deep into her
bottomless chasmic pupils. “God,
I hate to tell you this,” I said, “but
the guy sold you beef boullion.” Her mouth

dropped open full of
gasp, then she said, “Dammit,
no wonder that stuff made
me sick. I’m a vegetarian.”