Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

What They Say To Comfort Mothers of Boys Dead of Drugs

by Sheryl St. Germain


a disease,
+++++ think cancer, diabetes

+++++ genetic,
++++++++++ think father, brothers

+++++++++++++++think chemistry, dopamine

+++++++++++++++nothing you could do



they show photographs
+++++of the brain on drugs, off drugs, on, off, on, off

they highlight with colored light the areas
+++++damaged by drug use

they chart and plot,

+++++cite identical twin studies

++++++++++conduct genetic experiments with mice

tell you the A1 allele of the dopamine receptor gene DRD2
+++++is more common in people addicted to alcohol or cocaine

+++++that mice with low levels of neuropeptide Y drink more alcohol



their numbers, their charts and figures,
their bloodless medical words

blaze away at
the soul

which starts like a deer
in headlights