Francis Ukpeh

Francis Ukpeh uses poetry to explore the power of addiction.

Francis Ukpeh

Addiction’s Sway


some things we fold into private drawers
so they can live in the deep places where
they wouldn’t dare interrupt the necessary lies
we tell ourselves of our lives. the small ones
And the big ones are kept segregated
from those things kept tucked far from light,
in places where they can cast no shadows,
and only fester as an ignored open wound
in the damp muck of uncertainty and self-help book
constantly scratching and always searching
for that opening, that one moment of weakness
we swore would never return to turn us back
to old habits prayer isn’t strong enough to break,
because that’s the real power,
found in dopamine soaked deceits of a better tomorrow,
promising that after just one more drink, one more bump,
one more fix…just one. more. good. time.
that somehow our shit will fall lockstep into place,
and that if only those with stones could see the intentions
that yellow-brick pave this road with the dust of our ambitions,
those dreams forfeit because we couldn’t bear to sacrifice
all these smaller, plated luxuries,
maybe they would understand
and their ample judgment would be checked.
but who are you to judge us, motherfucker?
show me that shadow to which you are enthralled,
so we may gauge whose Demiurge is more seductive,
i, no we, never chose this religion but its missionaries
were far too alluring, wrapped in vestments inglorious
to hang about our shoulders in shame,
every soiree draped threadbare,
and every glittering spectacle less sorcerous and magical
until the powerlessness of this predicament
becomes so obviously unapologetic I can’t lie to myself anymore,
and I just admit, years late, and Fundamentally poorer,
that I am not as strong as my addiction.


About Francis Ukpeh

Francis is a DC-based writer, poet and dreamer that hasn’t let himself outgrow his dreams, but has only let them grow with his age.

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