white wedding dress
a man comes in. he offers me cocaine. two
pure white powders. somethings fishy. one
is lumpy. he says it takes two kinds. one
is outlaw cocaine. hardon. makes you pant
like a dog. one will hit your brain. will
hit your brain.
I mix them up. cocktail. rub it on my throat
lips gums. become very aware of my teeth.
immense ivories. dry cold and perfect first
snow. I snort it. cerebral stuff. head
motion. I lay down. stare up at the ceiling.
fresh white sheet. time passes. drifts. my
upper lip is frost bitten. I am not surprised
to see the ceiling open. like a wound. like
a sore. trap door. a bird passes thru the
whitest. most miraculous
—Patti Smith, from Seventh Heaven (1972)
Image: Patti Smith recites poetry on stage at Local in New York City (1975)