At the hospital
an IV in my arm dripping fluids
and the nurse says
“Your body is shutting down and
it won’t last much longer. Maybe a day.
I’ve been trying to get here for ten years.
The end of it all. Are you in or are you out?
My friend comes to visit.
“Did you bring booze?” I whisper
I tell them I’m leaving.
The nurse keeps informing me that I will die
as if that is going to have an effect on my decision to drink.
Detox, they say. Go to detox.
Detox is hallucinations and spiders crawling on my skin
vomiting and pain.
I leave, that night.
I buy a bottle of alcohol.
Downtown Victoria, I twist off the lid
and gulp it down.
Sitting on the curb waiting for the bus for home.
Where death, I suppose, waits.
Something happened, there, on that curb in my own personal hell.
I still don’t know what.
I didn’t see God; I could barely form coherent thought.
I didn’t feel spiritual relief, or regain shiny new hope.
But after the last sips were down and the bottle
A light I didn’t know I had left inside, sparked anew.
I call my Mom.
“It’s over. I’m done.”
Silence, on the other end.
She has seen ten years of trying,
one way or another
for it to be over.
She has prepared herself for my death.
She has watched her sweet baby commit slow suicide
for a decade.
The bus pulls up and I lurch home.
I am eerily calm, though days of sweats and
tears and terror await while the poison outs.
That was both the end, and the beginning of everything.
I still don’t know what happened
but I would like to call it grace.
Author: Keeley Milne
Editor: Catherine Monkman