Bottoming Out

After a couple of days in dollar hotels and one night in the pokey… (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 219)

Skid row or hoosegow,
breaking ritzy chairs
or ER-panicked patching,
morbid obesity multiplied,
prostitution or a life of crime
to score the hits —
seems like bottom, feels like hell.

Yet bottom’s deeper, steeper,
inside the hell of me. Hopeless,
helpless, worthless, ready to end,
willing to help, gun or bridge,
quicker than letting addiction
run the course. When EGO folds,
gives up, admits the rout —
that’s it. Surrender. And from that abyss,
upside-down victory hard won,
since never sought —
from there, the dregs, hope-filled hands
reach up to pull us to recovery.