KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 12: Summer 2019
Poem: 226 words

Meeting the World Halfway

by Chad Lutz
I take them 
because I used to throw things 
call people liars and lie through my teeth 
cheat with everything that moves 
and then threaten to hit you 
because of some trivial thing 

sometimes I’d make good 
and slam the door so hard 
the whole house rattled 

grab you by your hair 
and let the steering wheel 
stop your face 

it never mattered 
where we were driving 


who we were with 
what was at stake 


time of day 

there’s blood in the carpet 
no scrub brush can reach 

but so it doesn’t end that way 

they’re lined up 
on the table again 

tall short tall tall 

I take them from the bag 
the orange bottles 
and the twist-off tops 

treat them like radiation 

because the thought of them makes me shudder 
because I’ve been taking them since I was five 

barely old enough to know I’m alive 
and yet here I am 
a controlled substance 
hydroxypropyl cellulose 


I can’t think the way I used to 
but it makes me a better person 
letters get lost in the mouth 

or maybe 
that’s just getting old 
being out of it 

what is this 
poison in my 
hand anyway 

I swallow them 


I hate it 
but I do it 

I do it 
so you won’t leave 


Publisher’s Note: Hydroxypropyl cellulose is used as an ophthalmic ingredient to treat dry eye disease and irritation caused by insufficient tears. It’s also among the excipients in Abilify (brand name for the generic Aripiprazole, whose molecular formula is C23H27Cl2N3O2).

Chad Lutz
Issue 12, Summer 2019

is a speedy human born in Akron, Ohio, in 1986, and raised in the neighboring suburb of Stow. An alumnus of Kent State University’s English program, Chad earned an MFA in Creative Writing at Mills College and currently serves as an assistant editor for Pretty Owl Poetry. His writing has been published by KYSO Flash, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Gold Man Review, and Haunted Waters Press, was awarded the 2017 prize in literary fiction by Bacopa Review, and was a nominee for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in poetry.

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