Miranda Phillips

Old Friend

There, on the side of the road —

an old friend stands.

Pull over.  Stop the car.

He smiles faintly, saunters up, always knew you were weak.

Just past the back doors,

his hand is reaching out.

Punch the gas.

Swerve back into traffic.

Wipe the sweat off your face.

There, in the bar —

an old friend

leaps out of a hand.

Burns a cigarette, joint,

back of the spoon.  Flames

dance across the scarred, black


Set yourself on fire.

There, the backyard —

the green car, cruising down your street

an old friend waits.

Lock the doors, yank the blinds.

Call your momma

even though she doesn’t ever answer.

You mean it this time.

There, on the sofa —

an old friend

kicks his dirty sneakers up.

You clutch a Colt .45, remember

the call to Suicide Hotline.

Don’t let them win.

There, in little white baggies —

an old friend.

A spoonful strong enough

to start an avalanche.

Miranda Phillips is a senior studying creative writing at SUNY Oswego. She plans to move to Wyoming after graduation where she will continue her novel-writing career, ride horses, and watch the snow pile up with her blind, rescue dog, Bear.