DOWN AND OUT IN SUBURBAN DETROIT
by ANDRE PELTIER

One time I smoked 

banana peels to get off. 

I read that you bake them 

in the oven for a bit 

to dry them out. 

The joint tasted just 

like Juicy Fruit.

Another time I tried 

huffing gasoline 

in a farm field at night. 

I tried nutmeg 

like Malcolm X explains 

in his autobiography, 

and I drank vanilla extract 

like the drunken uncle 

on Family Ties. 

Cooking Sherry is delicious 

if you’re desperate 

and 14 years old. 

We drank Bacardi out of 

a hairspray bottle 

at a middle school dance. 

I took a handful of pep pills 

like Jessie Spano 

and popped sleeping pills 

like all the Housewives 

on all the Housewives shows. 

I downed Vicodin 

like Dylan McKay, 

and I tried cheeba cheeba 

like Tone-Lōc, George Benson, 

and Madonna. 

I carried around a microdot of 

mescaline 

in high school one day, 

but it must have fallen 

out of my pocket 

because it wasn’t there 

when I got home. 

I smoked a roach at my sister’s 

D.A.R.E. graduation 

AUTHOR BIO:

Andre F. Peltier (he/him) is a Pushcart Nominee and a Lecturer III at Eastern Michigan University where he teaches literature and writing. He lives in Ypsilanti, MI, with his wife and children. His poetry has recently appeared in various publications like CP Quarterly, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Provenance Journal, Lavender and Lime Review, About Place, Novus Review, Fiery Scribe, and Fahmidan Journal, and most recently in ShabdAaweg, Cajun Mutt Press, and Idle Ink. In his free time, he obsesses over soccer and comic books.

Twitter: @aandrefpeltier

Website: www.andrefpeltier.com