Diagnosis

You think they’re coming for you & so they are,
torches raised & gleaming in the night that once
hid much greater terrors. Once you thought you may
have been Gregor Samsa & you were afraid to get
out of bed. I mean, how does a person cope with
things like lithium? Blood full of metal, veins growing
tighter & tighter until the dam breaks & the lake
that you think is you — or could be you if the wrong
hour came mocking — sends empty waves, so gentle,
to a shore that never gave a fuck anyhow.

It’s you, not them, but they are here. Same hair, yellow
eyes and polo shirts with collars as stiff as your hips
when you remember the things you did to fit between
the lines still being drawn in the darkness by their flames;
they are here for your crazy, they saw your bug-legs
waving out of your pockets as you leaned to catch your
breath, that time when your silver blood wouldn’t do its part.
Your hair is too long or you didn’t shave your legs,
you have a tragic look in your eyes or resting bitch
face. Someone saw Mona Lisa as Michelangelo &
couldn’t unsee it & now they’re at your door, knock-

knocking; your doctor sold you out, you knew she was
judging you, when you told her you’ve never felt
human at all & she said, well what then? as if you
we’re supposed to have that part figured out. They want
to know too. They want to know what’s in your head
but their science is unspecific. They have a good coroner
though, the one their rage hired before it turned on you —

they say animals are brutal, a lack of sapience &
that your illness has robbed you of yours, they say that
you’re the type that breaks the law as they use
the butt of their rifle to break your skull open,
to find heavy vessels & the lake that spilled
into the inky nothing that they squint at, they hold
their torches up to — but still, still they can’t see
the problem is their own hands, lazy & berry-red
clutching the waist of their khakis.

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