Abuse, abuse is all we know.

It’s what we’re good at.

You can see it in the eyes.

Spelled in cigarette smoke.

The vape clouds.

Each yellowing smile.

Abuse, it’s what we’re good at.

Our unspoken bond.

It’s our courage.

Our rebellion.

Thinking ourselves to an early grave.

Then paying a stranger to lay our roses.

Forcing ourselves to sleep in a cell we call a bedroom.

Abuse, it’s all we know.

It’s what we’re good at.

What keeps us going.

What keeps us tough.

One drink is never the cure.

One love is one too few.

Abuse, it’s what we’re good at.

Denying right for wrong.

Selling ourselves short.

Sleeping before death.

Cradling despair.

Overthinking till we can’t tell if we ever thought at all.

Abuse, abuse is all we know.

It’s terrifying to grip.

But hardest to let go.

We crawled before we walked.

And sang before we spoke.

The message mouthed for nonsense—

I’m starting to understand.

Let’s hope it’s not too late.

affliction or redemption

What’ll it be

said the man

on the stand

to the reflection

looking very grim

sunken eyes

of redemption

come on come on

choose our next addiction

this time though

be aware

aware of my remission

I know I know

what fun is there in that

hell why don’t we find out

it’s either or perhaps

I’ve given you the right

that now I’m taking back

the will to fight the urge

I know that’s what I lack

so taking down the mirror

with no one staring back

the man poured the reflection

with ice into his glass

he calmly took a sip

one more than another

and when the glass was empty

to him it did not bother

just one more

thought the man

understanding his reflection

it’s up to you to choose

affliction or redemption.