A Rescue Plan for the Woman who Lays in Bed Whining

Tyra would not get out of bed on her thirtieth birthday
or let me celebrate with her in any way
although she left the door open so I could let myself in
she tucked the blankets into all her edges
including her feet, with only her face bare
stubborn and grimacing

I tried to untuck her for a tickle into laughter
but she had armed herself against that favored tactic
I told her I would buy anything she wanted
or that she could buy it herself
because she was so much more successful than me
–nothing.

Then I huffed up my frustration and almost turned away
I muttered, Well, you’ll have to give up
And keep me company anyways
Because all of the idiots are going to do stupid things
And start dying off around this age

She didn’t say she didn’t care or cry or moan
so I looked over at her to find my reward
that she was grinning, so that was what worked
she slowly dressed and let me take her out
for dinner and dessert

now I refuse to answer my boyfriend
because I am thirty and unlike Tyra
spend almost all my time sleeping
so he prompts me with the baby voice
he uses to represent our puppy
a voice I could never argue with

and says, I have one hero, my mommy!
Oh really, Grendel. Why is that? Mommy hasn’t ever
accomplished anything but giving you belly rubs
and making you dog food omelets.
Not true, mommy! You saved me three times!
Really?
Yes.

The time there was a price on my head
You saved me from the Russians in Lynn
Who kept me in a cage and lied about my heritage
as if being a purebred would make me worth more than I already am
you saw past my knotted hair, bad breeding and ill manners
and paid an exorbitant price for me, always saying I was worth every penny

then at the dog park, when that scary dog put me in his mouth
and shook me while I screamed and bled
and all the other pet owners stood stunned
you ran past them, punched that dog in the mouth
and rushed me off to the hospital
where you held my paw and sang me songs

and then when our house burned down
you picked me up before you even put your shoes on
and carried me out snuggling my nose into your jacket
to protect me from smoke inhalation
and cooed to me so I wouldn’t be frightened
and rubbed my feet so they wouldn’t be as cold
as your own feet were getting, bare against the snow

you have done way more for me
mommy, than Tyra could ever have dreamed
of doing good for anyone by the time she was thirty
so how is she more successful than you, again?
I don’t know, I answered, but I’m feeling hungry
so I got up smiling, and dressed slowly for our dinner party

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Here I am

Do you want to capture my image

More than you already have

Here are my wrists

White from lack of sunlight

Threaded blue with veins

Red scars and splotches of psoriasis

So I’m finally an American

But it didn’t solve anything

And here I am on a Saturday evening

Sitting on the edge of my bed

Hunched over a pan of beefaroni

Waiting until I finish eating

To lay back down and stare up at the cieling

So I’m finally on medication

But Im getting worse, if anything

Is the crisis over?

is the crisis over?
some of my neighbors are still homeless
but that isnt my fault thank god
because my landlady wanted a woman
and i was the only one in the building
i can still send them resources
and drop off things and it helps me
i think the crisis is almost over
and that we will all get placed
but i still cant sleep

i can afford to eat without worrying
about what ill do tomorrow
the funds havent come in
but i have toilet paper
where before, i didnt

i dont have to depend on charity
although i worry about being indebted
about baking cookies, what a trial that will be
when my heart is still beating too wildly
my friends have started to talk about other things
two of them have found love and i have many phone calls owed

my therapist said that all the generosity
doesnt detract from the wounds thatll start festering
if i dont address them-ill address the fire with wellbutrin
ill miss my sweet little apartment
with my books, my clothes, my grandmother’s paintings
but mostly ill miss the window with my writing desk
and i cant help but think of the men
when i was in there with a firefighter trying to salvage anything
who barged in, knocked what was left of my little desk over
and broke my window more than it was already broken
they didnt acknowledge me. and there is this shame
involved with having been needy and having been destroyed
in an instant makes me feel weak and i cant help but think
that cancer will be the next big thing…and i cant stop thinking

Please Fast Forward the Disasters

whatever other disasters will come
please rain them down on me now
kill my mother so i can face
the fact that through the fire
and the birth of my brother’s first child
we still arent talking

save my father. the complex deaths
will be the hardest. know that i loved him
kill my mother and give me the cancer
i was bound to end up with anyways
let my boyfriend stray from me
let him say the most hurtful things
let me fast forward through all this please

Intake Appointment (Impulsiveness and recklessness noted)

I could get diagnosed with paranoia

or that could’ve really been a private investigator

outside of my apartment last evening

 

And it could be said that I have issues with rage

or maybe I’m just pissed at the psychiatrist

I tell him, ” I can smell

your little bipolar sniffing

investigation from a mile away,

i studied psychology and lived

with mental patients; let me tell you now,

I don’t have it.”  “Ok,” he says “But do you feel

that you’re anxiety and depression

are cyclical? Do you go through periods

where you feel like you can do anything?”

 

“I feel like that’s a trick question.

Listen, it’s not my fault or unrealistic

I can do anything if I set my mind to it.

I feel like I’m killing this.”

“Uh-huh, and is that a scar i see on your wrist?”

“No, that’s a cigarette burn.

Here are the scars. But I didn’t do that.

Someone else did.”

“Someone stabbed you?”

 

“Yeah, that’s a long story.

I don’t want to get into it.”

“We have an hour and a half.”

“Do we? If you ask me any more

bipolar related questions,

I’m finished.”

 

“Well, I can tell you right now

you’re not getting out of here

with just one diagnosis. But I’ll also add

that I think most of your issues

stem from the life that you’ve lived

and, of course, seeing as how I’m a psychiatrist

I’ll also point out that your mother has alot to do with it.”