Before the gray glow of the Mac,
the roommate tries to type
one... tap... at ... a ... time.
He stares at the cold screen
with dull, sunken eyes;
making me wonder if he's still alive.
At 21 his health eludes,
Soiled laundry piles up.
Snot-stained Kleenix litter the floor.
There's a pungent smell
(Not even the constant burning of incent sticks won't quell).
His world is dead to me.
And spilling into my sanctuary.
I'm about to leave this dark, drab place
when I see his eyes roll to the right, with a twinkling of life.
The Zombie Machine is by his side.
Two feet tall, blue glass.
This chalice is his crutch, his reason to live.
He grabs the cylinder,
exits the room,
heads straight for the mildew-stained shower room.
Seated on the edge of the tub,
he lights the grass and lets it burn.
The white smoke rises above the murky water.
He puts his mouth on its lips and sucks it in.
His coughs and hacks bounce off the dead yellow walls.
Snot runs down to his whiskered chin
. He does it again, kissing that damn Zombie Machine,
and filling that small place with that harsh evergreen scent.
Miraculously, he comes to life,
moving like a puppet with strings of smoke
connected to his arms and legs and head.
But the shot of life that entered him
soon fades with the dissipating smoke.
He takes another hit and gets back that high.
He emerges, eyes blazing,
Stumbling for the bedroom, to his computer.
He tries to type, again,
One... Tap... At... a ... time.
And once again,
his resurrected soul returns to its murky depths,
leaving a corpse before a gray screen.
© 2017 Dean Traylor