“Gibbon Eyes” by Greg Johnson

| January 18, 2016

This is a poem about addiction. With my friend creating HERO a heroin and opiate awareness project, I felt compelled to contribute in some manner. I feel this is a topic many of us have been affected by in some way, shape, or form, if not directly, and I plan on offering my continued support the best way I can.

People have said they have a monkey on their back.
In reality, it is much more dastardly than that.

Indeed, there are furry paws gripping the sides of your head.
Mechanically controlling you, driving you, guiding you.
You’re a soulless robot waiting to be fed.

Occasionally the primate will hang its head low, mere inches from your face.
Essentially blinding you with glazed eyes.
Stunned and hypnotized, you continue forward, never losing your pace.

Then, there are grips and throes. You reach for your heart like a Gorilla beating its chest.
But these demons, short and wild, screeching and pacing, allow zero rest.
You are but a child, given up with no contest.

Or do you struggle to breathe and rip the vines that wound you so tightly?
Standing tall, above the jungle, a place you’ve lived so contritely?

If you look close enough through the mist and the moss, there is no other primate.
It’s just your carnal nature. You are the alpha. You are the boss.

So do you leave with reason, escape the jungle bloodied but seasoned?
Because when you stay you’ll be beaten back again, by monkeys you think scream, “Treason!”

As long as you fight, tooth and nail, bloodied claw.
You can wrench your heart back from this creature’s savage maw.

To live again. Not as a beast, but Neanderthal.

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