The Molt



I'm fortunate enough to be one of those people that overcame his addictions. Sadly I've known my share of folks who died for their demons. This is pretty personal, but it's a story of struggle and I'm ready to share.

The Molt
Oscar Lopez Jr.

I wrote lyrics to this . . . silence.

I found them contrived and full of mistakes.

And like my old man always says, ‘Sorry son, those are the breaks.’

There’s no sense in my halfway eloquence.

I speak in pretenses, dreams of hopping fences until I’m in that perfect

backyard, with kids and the swings, and the phone always rings . . .

And it’s always for you.

I drew inspiration from the blood I used for calligraphy, all the bullshit

happiness that was drilled into me.

I’m not okay, and for the first time in 27 years, I feel like that’s okay.

My words were only humble for the first measure or so, until I could tell

myself to stop trying. Return to sender, though rendered incapable

of coherent thought.

The record stops, the needle worn thin, the room goes silent, tipping

this glass at the brim.

I swore I’d never drink again.

We’re all sinners, but at least I’m an honest liar. The night is ours,

though I’m useless in my ways.

Like a spider that could never shed the molt.

I screamed with life as my time drew close, the tether coming

undone, missed like a vital dose, my veins were the ink for this

error-filled letter that seemed completely verbose, and lacking in any

subtlety whatsoever.

I was going to say something clever here, but I missed the mark,

like aiming for her lips, but kissing her chin in the dark.

I climbed a mountain, just to piss down the side, so I could say I’ve

washed my hands of this pugilistic pride.

Still, I take every opportunity to talk about how I’ve changed.

How sobriety has knit me a sweater and kept me warm, while I

spit in the face of every person who stood beside me before.

It’s to them who I owe this apology.

Give to them my heart, if it weren’t obsolete, of clanking metal borne.

And I’d be a goddamn saint if I said I didn’t masochistically desire

their scorn.

Just another bee sworn into the swarm, attack of a chiller breeze,

frothing at the mouth with false teeth.

And I honestly felt like I was going the mile with a bum knee.

Had to separate it from myself like working off this gluttony.


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