Alternate Names for the Dead Addict* by Joan Glass
1. arrested thief of borrowed time.
2. Olympic diver who executes final dismount into his own grave.
3. young subject of vague obituary.
4. man who bites off cop’s face (on the front page).
5. unnamed planet orbiting a dark star.
6. escape artist, strangled by his own chains.
7. drowning fish in a frozen lake.
8. sparrow killed by a glass door (who believed if she kept at it,
she would one day break through).
9. weak and worthless piece of shit junkie.
10. one whose name it hurts too much to say.
Joan Glass holds a B.A. and M.A. from Smith College. She is the child of a Korean immigrant mother and an Irish/Polish, American father. Her poems have been published in TRIVIA: Voices of Feminism, Literary Mama, Decades Review, Up the River, Bone Parade, Easy Street, and Right Hand Pointing, among others. Her poem “Bathing Scene” was featured on the Saturday Poetry Series: Poetry as it Ought to Be. Joan has work forthcoming in Rise Up Review. She lives near New Haven, Connecticut.
* after Danez Smith’s “alternate names for black boys”