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The addict is very devotional.
—    Harijiwan Khalsa

All we want is to feel good.  To stop clenching our jaws and be released from the grid of anxiety mapped across our brains.  To float instead, and encounter the day anew.

All we want is to turn our face to the world without cringing, to warm to the sun on our eyelids and to draw the blue air into our lungs.  To receive the gift.  How it is we never learned to do this?

The shot glass.  The pipe.  The needle.  The pill.  These are but the tools of our oblations.  Their use, mere gestures made by trembling hands to invoke a state of grace.

All we long for is an answer to the prayers we whisper through cracked lips.  To hear an echoing voice to drown out the sirens and helicopter drone at lonely midnight.  Is that too goddamn much to ask?

All we want is some confirmation that we are not useless, pointless, doomed.  Some reflection of a waterfall, a shooting star, a coral sunrise bleeding out from violet that says, “This is what you are.”

If we ask incessantly. If we ask repeatedly. If we appear to knock at the door several times a day and all through the night.  If we return again and again to the same tools, the same strategies.

If we continue to fill our throats with smoke so that at least we do not feel the emptiness.  If we continue to swallow fire that burns through blood all the way to the heart.  If we continue to cling to a sleep of sweet oblivion.

If we sacrifice our livelihoods.  If we leave the shelter of home.  If we release our families.  If we forget those we love.  If we surrender our physical bodies.  If we relinquish our clarity.

Take this only as a sign of the depth of our hunger, the urgency of our need.  Trace our fingerprints and know us as the saints we are.  Take this purely as a measure of our devotion.