Michelle Brooks


They don't work anymore, my mother
said of her pain pills. The body can get
used to anything and does, the years
dulling the ride, leaving only the need.
You'd think I could stop, she'd say, but
I already knew what it was to be attached
to something that did nothing for you,
swallowing the same pill day after day,
hope, that old ball and chain, leaving you
marking answers long after you realize
you won't be able to finish the test.

Michelle Brooks' work has been published or is forthcoming in Hayden's Ferry Review, Madison Review, Orchid Eclipse, Phoebe, Cold Mountain Review, Baltimore Review, Blue Mesa Review, Staplegun, Nerve Cowboy, Long Shot, and elsewhere.


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