But Where Did You Mean To Go?, a poem on the drug epidemic by Drem

There is a major drug epidemic in Staten Island. Recently, police started carrying Narcan, an opiate antidote. It has saved so many lived. But not all are caught in time.

This poem made me cry a lot.


But Where Did You Mean To Go?, a poem by Drem

Written July 8, 2016

Taking the sticky one way and only train

built back when this island

was home to hicks

and ocean sea side vacation bungalows

rich people lived in.

Down to the North Shore

you go

like every other weekday.

It was just like any other weekday.

Business casual. Briefcase.

Red lipstick.

Work phone on and cell phone off.

Taking the one way sticky train

and swiping last stop

and swiping on up

to a place you might have thought

you knew you were going.

Not Manhattan.

No, not Manhattan.

And not in your home.

You died on the water

in a bathroom stall

with your best friend- not your sister,

a needle,

in your arm.

And I’m sitting here

at 2AM

wondering if you thought

you’d make it to Manhattan.

Wondering if you thought

you’d come home to our family.

Wondering if you wanted

to die on the choppy waves

this past Monday morning.

What were your intentions?

Was this intended?

You really didn’t seem depressed.

But we are so good at hiding it.

Xanax after Xanax.

Prescription after prescription.

Or was that just a jack,

my little secret junkie,

to get you through your Monday,

the worst day of the week?

Now my worst day of the week.

Funeral’s on Wednesday.

Announced in the paper on Tuesday.

Islanders write on online

they happy you are dead.

Call you another


Just another scumbag.

You left your two babies

so strangers are judgmental.

They don’t know the struggle.

Our struggle.

Your struggle.

How you tried and how you loved.

Until the very end.

I told your kids myself

that’s where you got sleepy and left.

They can’t look at the ocean no more.

They mad.

And that’s really hard

because we live on an island

and are all surrounded by water


They don’t even like bathtubs.

I tell them you’re a mermaid angel

who just didn’t get her magic Narcan in time.

And you were suddenly called home to Poseidon.

You’re something like Ariel to them,

minus the red hair

and plus some track marks and not ever being fully here

when you were here.

Now they love the Little Mermaid,

are afraid of syringes,

and miss you very, very, very much.

We all miss you very, very, very much.

And love you very, very, very much.

Thank you for reading this.

(C) Drem 2016


16 thoughts on “But Where Did You Mean To Go?, a poem on the drug epidemic by Drem

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your sister, pardon if I’m not making the correct inference. Your writings show that you had so much love for her, and she had so much love for her family and you. Your writing this shows people that they ought to act kindly; so instead of internet vective, I’ll take it upon myself to say Kaddish, and hope to send some kindness and heart your way. I hope you find comfort to join you in sorrow and strength to support you in need.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Randy,
      This isn’t about my sister. Rather, it’s about the sisters of all the others lost here in NYC. There is much pain. And, the pain is deepened further when people on the news websites comment the most hateful things you can imagine. They rejoice in their deaths. If you follow the newspapers on FB you’d be sickened by it. That is where this poem comes from. And I plan on sending it to a few of the newspapers in the hopes they publish this to open their reader’s eyes and also as a major FUCK YOU to the bastards who say the hurtful shit because I’m referring to them directly.


  2. I said Kaddish. I guess that’s appropriate, too, whether individually, or for “general purpose”. Thanks for letting me know I’m again spam. My phone has always had double-click type issues, which could be its cause, and I can’t help it. I’ve dealt with Akismet before for a length of time; their implication to me was that someone marks me spam. I did notice that my comments recently disappear into the ether, without showing up or stating to be in moderation — I was kindof wondering what was happening with them (now I know! Thanks!). I also back out of things to get back to where I was, and that sometimes makes Akismet think I’ve re-entered a comment (duplicate comments are considered spam). The like button rarely loads, whether on my own or someone elses, so I’m relegated to making comments most of the time, if I want to respond to someone’s work.
    I’m not disassociated from the subjects of your writings, as they’ve manifested in my own family. I tend to like people who do drugs, I guess because they’re more empathetic, feeling-types of folks. I used to see it as being that they’re only hurting themselves and not hurting others with their actions. Much later, I realized that thay’s patently untrue: besides hurting themselves, they’re supporting vicious, violent drug catels and gangs, therefore bringing crime and a bad element into the scene. They endanger family members, by surrounding themselves with violent people (drive-bys for missed drug payments, whatever). The family budget goes down the drain, when it should’ve been used for the family’s benefit. The emotional relations are also MIA for the family. Everybody suffers due to the sufferings of someone drowning their pain through drugs. It’s sad all around. So, I’m sorry if you feel that mine, or someone else’s, feelings expressed, and maybe not always so kindly about these behaviors/actions, are tough. My problem is often in seeing both sides. It would be better to be a more decisive person and be strong on either one side or the other, rather than seeing both, or trending more strong, or less, in a single mode of thought/being. Oh, well. I guess that’s why they’re sometimes difficult issues.


  3. This really spoke to me. I have a close family member that has had serious issues with substance abuse and addiction. It’s hard to love him sometimes, because of what he’s put everyone through, but he’s still a human and still someone we should try to help and show him how to be his best self again. Despite everything, he is not garbage, he’s a brother, a father, a husband, we still love him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading my poem, connecting with it and sharing your story.

      It is hard. I’ve seen it many times over and over. It’s sad and frustrating and confusing. But like you said- he’s not garbage. We’re all human.


  4. experiencing your poem today brought me beauty…pain…self-revelation…I witnessed a brave transparency to existence and all it brings … I could have just said, wow!, but I needed you to know how deeply you touched me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you very much for your comment. i haven’t seen you around before. welcome to Drem. I am Drem (:
      I am glad my work connected with you in some way. That makes it worth it ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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