Danielle Shorr

Elegy for the Resilient

Because we took Vicodin with cocktails over dinner I 

spent the evening dry heaving on the bathroom 

floor you were fine we took Codeine on 

the couch with watermelon margaritas I 

got nauseous I had to get completely undressed you 

didn’t your body could handle it I told myself that 

about you your body it could handle anything you 

could handle anything I couldn’t handle substance with 

grace you showed me the webbing on fingers where 

you injected I wondered where you had learned how 

to do that probably somewhere on the internet you 

were good at finding what you needed you were 

good at everything so good I thought nothing could 

kill you I should have had an intervention I should 

have slipped Narcan in your purse like a love note we 

did coke off an Ipad in a bathroom at a party we 

were sober eating dumplings on my living 

room couch we smoked weed and laughed until 

saliva poured from the corners of our unstoppable 

mouths I was there when you pulled the bag of 

pills out from underneath your bed like a lifetime 

collection of stones I was there when you ate none of 

the food on your plate it was your favorite restaurant it was 

your favorite city it was your birthday it was 

a weekend it was a Monday night and the world was 

ours to dry-swallow you were so good at excuses you 

were an artist of defense you could make shooting 

up safer than taking Tylenol I asked what it felt 

like you said like everyone you’ve ever loved hugging 

you all at once you could convince the emergency 

room doctors that you needed Dilaudid so smart it was 

scary I wondered if you would ever regret the tattoo you 

got when you were high I thought someday you 

would regret is something that you have to live 

long enough to experience I don’t regret anything we 

did I regret thinking nothing could kill you

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Danielle (she/her/hers) is an MFA alum and professor of disability/queer rhetoric at Chapman University forever trying to make the transition from poetry to fiction. She has a fear of commitment in regard to novel writing and an affinity for wiener dogs. Her work has been published by MTV, Crab Fat Magazine, Hobart, Split Lip, Redivider, etc.