“A Pharmacist In Love,” by Jocko Benoit

Aug 20th, 2012 | By | Category: Poetry

The pharmacist is in love,
Sculpting pills into heart shapes,
Her tongue all homeopathic honey
As she names each of the sick in line,
All of their medicine mislabeled, the dosage
Written in poetry: “Take it all in
Slowly,” “Apply until your eyes
See what has always been there.”

The ill struggle with their zen
Prescriptions.  The depressed man
Gets a four-hour erection harder
Than his life.  The woman expecting
Her Ritalin gets instead a hit
Of pain killers so strong her eyes learn
Everything there is to know about
One tile on the ceiling that looks
Like the first boy she ever kissed.
And the old fella wiped out
By the latest bacterium gets speed
Three times a day until he runs out
Four weeks later at a craps table in Vegas,
Slumped snoring in the bosom
Of the dancer he’s been seeing.

But soon the pharmacist regains
Her senses and has everyone
Back to normal again, getting healthy
In ways that are FDA-approved.


Jocko Benoit is the author of two collections of poetry, An Anarchist Dream and Standoff Terrain (Frontenac House, 2010). His poetry has appeared or will appear in Gargoyle, Poet Lore, The Malahat Review, Grain, and Queen’s Quarterly, among other magazines. Rumor has it that ‘Jocko Benoit’ is merely a brand name to which several poets contribute lines and phrases they have cut from their own poems, making the Benoit poem a kind of literary hot dog.

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