"Making My Own Acquaintance"
I used to smoke, crave it, enjoy it.
Now it’s something people do
who are ambivalent about life,
not sure if they want to live or die.
I used to drink a lot.
It was the high and low of my day.
Now it’s what people do who are in pain.
Their pain has taken on a life of its own
and needs to be fed and cared for
like a lost soul they’ve brought home from the bar.
I used to feel sad and needed that sadness
to have something to escape from
because without it I’d be left alone
experiencing an uncomfortable silence
with a stranger.
Raud Kennedy is a writer and dog trainer in Portland, Oregon. To learn about his most recent work, Portland, a collection of short stories, please visit .