"The Overdose: Mother to Son Verse Play"

Christina Trimarco '12

Christina Trimarco '12VOICE ONE:


Within the broken night light, the streetcars pressed

their glow onto the walls hard, hard and stark

like boxy handprints grabbing the ether. To him

and to her and the mothers of the room, such hands

needed no introduction. For him only

do they haunt the blackness for fresh stars, only

for his pale, skinned-white- bone-collective,

a new constellation, a new myth.



 He sat to the bent blue world, easing

into the marble like his spine knew a place

in stone. Rock. Rock. Rock a bye, baby,

my baby boy so coos the womb, so coos the strata.


Mother to son, she sings slowly, sound

falling from the pockets of her cheeks

bolding his ears and pulsing him relentless.


  1. SON

My spine white knuckles the world, I swear

my curve paints your sky my color, the baked

middle sunset brown. This back-skin kisses

universe whole, full lipped licking, open

and drooling. Break your neck to the sky, taste me,

let me wallow your gums.



And he says she makes his body pure,

so much white crackling to his pores,

                         not one,

he says, but sets of teeth she has

biting until the rivers run hot again,

and breasts, soft boiled,  ladling warmth

over and through the veins. Her skin,

folds on him in one cascading sheet,

skin rising, sinking and he is swimming.


            Swimming, swimming,

gulping for air under her wetness, his rivers

exposed and branching forth to flow

into the mouth of her ocean, so chilly now.


But son, son, your holes are showing.   


  1. SON

I never knew real waves, you salt

water child, but look me now woman,

a whole stranded sand constellation , a sinking

world. Collect my rocks lover,

so you can tell the others of me.

Let us pray.



In the womb, he turned and turned

in the lemon-colored couch, the lobby

of birth and gurgled for some semblance

of sky, of the dried soil.


Mother hovers him,

like an old net, frayed to a scaly sky

and when she moves, the bristles break

loose stars, she shakes wooly shards of night,

each lurid point leaking song over his body,

which is the world.


What weather she wills, son, your holes

have gone to puddles.


  1.             MOTHER

Soon too, the dwelling comes, child, I know

and he’ll remember the rounded burial place, my milk

slipping from such swollen holes that they formed

your gravestone, boy body, boy baby.

Remember where he lived and died too,

until we made a new love in the smacking din.


He loved me then, he lived my body.



He sat to nothing and nothing was the world.

Collapsed, sky shivered from him willowing

in blackened waves of bloodied silt. So much wealth

huddled in these banks, a whole fissured

universe browning the white stocks of tile.


Mother knows and coos



Rock, rock, rock a bye and in the biding

recall the earth a while

and in the morning

the ruddy milk, your leftover body,

will be another faded sunrise.



The singing stopped, but the hands continued,

and the boy moved to the rhythm of the floor

and the boy danced to his woman  

and the woman kissed him openly

and the mother stood back.


  1. SON

Suture to the banks of my body, whole,

whole like I am your ideal skeleton, one

and only pale puzzle lover. Live

in this, my material, hard ooze melt,

and celebrate the mold.

                                     Don’t stop

there. Curl into the weathered under,

crawl the gravel of me, my body too.



That tide is broken and wakes openly

to the shore, spitting freely, its leftover

blanket sprouting starry

limbs to stalk the shore, the drained-colored

rock; we live for the froth that mosses our beach,

our breath never revels its leaving. Sun,

we know the gone time, taste the unmothered

hours, the gummy blue lick of night. Mouth

us, Sun, until you heat our bellies and we lie

with you on the sand. Let us pray.


  1. SON

Each surge flounders the muscle run. Veins,

unstilled, feud the organs till the pores

run blank and the blood branches thicken, I

am the new vague fly, watch me wallow

in fresh spiny husk,

                                man-made. Spine,

the long arm bristling gristle hair, female?

pushing frenzied fist deep, deep down

where you grab me and roll like putty.


You signal breasts, whittled woman as you

cycle my body in swaddled sleep, wriggling in me.

You shimmy till the sick purple stamps

these teeth, till the mouth swings open

and the buds grow in your milk like weed.


These nipples so burnt puncture like nails, I feed

till these lips drip to the floor, pooling like bruised

kisses to the tile bone. And what of us,

street woman, sweet woman. We

                                                      low-down moan,

hung skeletal sound in the sopped-grain soil.

Crawl me, baby, color me whole once more

before the daytime seep, before

the nighttime covers cold.


* Above poem awarded 2nd place in the Academy of American Poets Prize category for best single poem as part of the 2012 English Literary Awards.