the chemical saint

I’m inside a pill.
Sugar coated little pill.
I’m a quirky molecule.
I’m the little pill itself, if you prefer.

Someone invented me.
Some doctor did it.
I was born to cure a dangerous disease.
And then, other qualities were discovered.
I am not just designed to lower your cholesterol level and save you from a stroke.

This medication affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety and depression. This medication may also be used for purposes other than those listed in the medication guide.

I lull you to sleep.
I erase your fears.

I live in your blood, in your spit, in your sweat, in your semen, in your piss and your shit.
Your body stores me beneath layers upon layers of fat. Spongy, yellow human fat.

I’m perfectly legal and safe. Tons of medical papers are being written or updated to stress I’m harmless.

This medication should be used for only a short time. Do not take this medication for longer than four months without your doctor’s advice. This medication may be habit-forming. You may need to use less and less before you stop it completely.

You address your prayers to the core of my pulsing atoms.
I’m bigger and more real than simple faith.
I’m the cult of the hopeless and the doomed.
I’m the saint you can kiss, lick, suck, swallow.

Together forever, you and me, as some song goes.

Try and deny me: the gentle sleep turns into nightmares, the shakes, the chills, the rushing blood, the brain rustling inside your skull.

Learn to accept both me and your weakness.

Your symptoms may return when you stop using this medication after using it over a long period of time. You may also have seizures or withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it. Withdrawal symptoms may include tremor, sweating, muscle cramps, stomach pain, vomiting, unusual thoughts or behavior, and convulsions.

Don’t ask me if I’m a truth or a lie: I simply am.
Grind me between your pearly whites and cry no more.
A novel Joan of Arc, I beg to be engulfed by the cold cold fire which troubles your sorry soul.

Have your doctor called at once if you experience any of these serious side effects: confusion, depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself, hyperactivity, agitation, hostility, fainting.
Death is not a likely side effect, but it has occured during clinical treatment of oversedated patients.

I can’t cure your illness, the deep source of your pain,  but I can make sure you don’t hurt, you don’t care, you don’t mind.

I’m the most welcomed thief in the middle of the night.

(racconto pubblicato in Santi: Lives of Modern Saints, antologia bilingue con colonna sonora in cd allegata, Black Arrow Press, 2008)