Monday, May 27, 2013

my diseases have always been ghosts and they've sat
unreachable and invisible in the frontal lobes.
my diseases have always been translucent synapses and chemicals that don't have
names and i have always had to be the face of them
and you have to understand that everyone here has always thought [but never admitted]
that i've merely dreamed them up.

the gasps begin, expand like ice in the cracks of a well-maintained and ill-fitting dam.
i am sitting on a bench next to the queensboro and i am leaving in one day and i want
my blanket and my house and my mother and my city and my 
comfort back, my nerve quenching firehose, a statistics calming voice.
i've become the one with the whip, pushing back anxieties like nervous horses[they dance hoof to hoof]
and it's left me with no room to mourn
visible funerals.

i am exhausted and empty and haunted 
by ghosts with long names 
that all end in 'phoma' or 'ism' or 'mia', i joke with the doctor that i'm merely waiting for an
which isn't really funny, i guess.

i am soft, tender meat

is this my fault?
mortality's hoarse laugh, a flick of a wrist.
bones and hands and skin and blood.
everything is dry
inside of me.

i do not show but i am 
very afraid.

gold digger

"you know it's all gone, right?"
"i've known it for years, dear."
"and you've stayed?"
"despite my best efforts, i think i've grown to enjoy you."
"i've grown to enjoy you too."

Sunday, May 26, 2013

he cut the grass every sunday
loved his kids, loved his wife
until the fire.

after, he cut the grass every saturday
and heard family noises
that weren't there.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


i could tell you my shade, my color
today, i fancy myself volumious yet

you don't send someone to an oncologist
without fucking warning them.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

i hate doing this, i am not the diary-type but sometimes life 
builds up 
too much.

it started with the exhaustion, my sleep was left empty as an autumn nest. i, perpetually fearful of being seen as anything less than genuine, perpetually attempting to avoid overreaction- ignored it. the bruising came next, rising purple on my knees and elbows. i was husked by four p.m., comatose and unable to do 
just about anything.
they told me that i looked different, they told me to take some 
responsibility for myself [a fatal flaw, i'm sure] and i smiled while she drew my blood, i did not smile when the results took over a week. i should have been suspicious when they wouldn't tell me over the phone. levels were off, the platelets sparse, white and red cells weak- my blood was too dry. i imagined my veins as a thirsty desert floor. anemia, simple, she smiled when she took more samples. she did not smile when it took ten minutes for me to clot. 

i felt like a scolded child, sitting, once again in that office. my platelets, tiny red patches, tiny bits of glue weren't sticking. i was draining under my skin. more bruises in the strangest of places [between my fingers, in the crease of my shoulder blade. i was misshapen inside, the reality that my body might not be
slight traumas that had never occurred laid their purple-black hands on me. ["i've 
called a hematologist on the west side, 9 a.m. tomorrow"] i smiled when she handed me the paper, i did not smile when i read it.

the doctor spent the first twenty minutes recommending that i eat more yogurt before telling me that my hormones were buzzing like angry bees or trapped window flies. not enough thyroid, too much pituitary. too high, too low, my capillaries must have looked like roller coasters. she dug for five minutes in my arm trying for more blood [jokes on
you, i am dry inside]
my results will be in before tomorrow. any minute i will know the truth. i smiled when i shook her hand, i did not smile when i needed to rest before walking to the subway.

i drink my coffee extra hard today, i smoke my cigarette as if i mean it. i tempt the universe. today, i want to overreact, i want to be dramatic. i have spent four years forcing positive thinking down my own throat but today, i want to overreact; i think i fucking deserve it. let the anxieties take center stage and throw their bloated bodies all around, i am scared. i am scared of my mortality. now, now it is suddenly more tangible than my unzipped wrist[i can't help but wonder if this is my fault, if i bled myself too suddenly on the bathroom floor all those years ago].

lamotrigine was my saving grace, my empty bullet. i now press my [bruised, still. exhausted, still] fingertips to spell out [lamotrigine bruising. hypothyroidism. 
hematological malignancy]
into the search engine and i read message boards of people who casually type about the organs they've lost [my kidneys are shot, my liver's given up, i blew out my pituitary like an old tire]
my bones hurt, i could drink an entire ocean and still not quench my thirst, i fall asleep at mexican bars. lymph node swollen out like a balloon. this is not about another pill, this is about accepting that my saving grace could be ruining me. i've been fighting bipolar disorder for so long and this is about the possibility that it still might win [well played, you son of a 
 i cannot stop atrophy. i am twenty one years old, i do not want to be on dialysis. i am twenty one years old, i do not want to think[on the L train, drunk at 3:17 a.m.] what it would be like to go blind. i do not want to wonder [in all seriousness] what leukemia feels like.

i feel betrayed by lamotrigine, i feel cheated on with morality. Beethoven wrote symphonies he would never hear- i still want to hear mine. i've been telling you all, for years, that life just isn't fair and it's okay but today, it's not. today it is not fair and it is not okay. i fear it has started, the grand decline. i quiet cried [just a bit] in my exam yesterday and i smiled when i turned it in. i did not smile when i typed this.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

it's the drop of your last cigarette onto the pavement,
the one you let burn to the orange;
the last exhale of smoke,
and it feels nice to
be clean i 


you took 17 gasps before curling up like an old leaf and I thought of your tiny baby wrinkles and blue surface veins filled with tree-things and life-stuff. I'll be honest, I don't know what is inside of an apple tree but I assume that it was inside of you as well and maybe that is why you could only manage 17 gasps. 
You father waited for you like a hound dog on a rug, did you know that? He waited for you, sprawled out on plastic covered coaches with those waxy wooden armrests. He waited for your toes and your nose and your lips and when they came out all wilted, he cried like sap rolling down a truck- slow and heavy and quiet from the root of him. My brother told me, after a very long pause, that you were a cooked kernel. My brother who isn't like the rest of us anymore since his accident. He might have understood it more than anyone else, that even the good apples fall out of trees. That even the good apples only get 17 gasps.
They say a baby's hands are like little flowers but yours were like fossils. My brother says that it's a good idea that we plant you again and if we do, you'll grow the rest of the way. My brother says that you'll walk up your father's porch one day with perfect size hands and that we just have to wait for you to ripen. Your father thinks he's stupid and punched him in the mouth. Everyone thinks he's stupid but I think that this time, he might be right.
You took 17 gasps and you came too early. Your body was just too tiny for all your insides, you were an over-packed seed. And your mother loved you so much that her heart couldn't take it and all her blood rushed out to follow you. Your father told us that her body wasn't ready to let you go yet. You came too soon, Nora. My brother says that your heart did all it's beating too fast and it's okay to fall out of a tree. That the good apples usually do. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

i understand why they stop taking their medications.
it's not to bring the voices back, it's not to make the rats crawl out of the walls,
it's for that three to four hour period of clarity, lucidity-

and you're standing there and theres no headaches and you don't feel the least bit nauseus and it's easy- the joking and the laughing. it's the easiest it's ever been and you're on, you're so on.

and then the shaking starts, not even from the limbs but from your fucking
torso, as if the anxiety is just radiating out from you and youre shaking

it's not fair, it's not fair,
[life really isn't fair]
you just want yourself to stay.

two people pulling a rope that neither even
fighting over the fucking toaster even though she doesn't
eat carbs.

so i just grow, always, you know? 
curl and twist and knot myself up.

you might 
always be the bird 
and i might always be the tree

Sunday, May 5, 2013

hospital beds or hotel beds or places
not meant for staying, 
i wanted to rip my bones,
i wanted to reach right in and pry my ribs apart
like reluctant staples
at the sadness of it all-
you smiled
and told me not to.

and it wasn't me and it wasn't you.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

i missed you on a monday night so i 
turned the washing machine on and let it run
for no apparent reason.
it whirled and whirled and the noise was your 
sleeping sounds
and it helped, a little bit.

i missed you on a tuesday night so i
did it again and on wednesday
the slosh of water was your footsteps on the floor.

the water bill is getting ridiculous.