StarsNow say i-so-LAY-ted with the Scottish researcher’s elongated accent,
as she explains on NPR the needle exchange program
piloting in Turner, Indiana and how the addict need not be

laid out like the body whose rigor-mortised fist
clutches the shoestring or the sister’s scarf.

re-COV-er-y, the cov, long, flat, a country of its own,
barren of fleshiness, population nearing zero–

say it–like that–with the near-brogue
hominess of an impossibly difficult jig.

Now say it like an Appalatchin, a user, truly
assolated: stress on the first
short a as in ass and apple and
accident. Know that what it sounds like
may not be what it is–

-so much more than the formal note of his voice
when the deputy calls you around the building
to tell you what you already know, your own name
dead on his tongue already having
splayed you and since you can’t look at him, your mind goes
to fatigué (how the French say it), what a gorgeous word
and it must be what it feels like to die

as you shoot up, your nerves melting in a pot of gold,
having just slid down the elongated curve of a double rainbow
whose end holds
your pinhole pupils that still hold the cosmos–
the exchange of stars
those of us left to count
down toward–just junk–
dead but still glimmering,

aflutter on the blackest heaven.