Tell Me A Little Bit About Yourself

Tell you about myself?
What do you want to know?
Look at my instagram 
Happy in each photo.

Or do you want statistics?
Name, age, date of birth?
The city I was born in?
Amount I’m worth?

How about some letters
At the end of my name?
Or high school, colleges, 
What I became?

Or the juicy ones
That you’ll spread around?
Bipolar Type 2, Pure Obsessive,
Chronically down. 

I don’t think you understand.
You can’t SEE me. 
You can’t tell who I am,
By my degrees.

Not by email, 
Not by text, 
Not by picture, 
Or what I do next.

I’m not who I was, 
Nor who I am now. 
Or what you see:
What I allow.

You have to talk to me
You have to learn
You can’t know a person, 
It’s something earned. 

There is no I AM
I cannot just BE
Bipolar, these obsessions,
They’re part of me.

I’m always changing
I don’t know who I am
I can tell you facts,
But you’ll never understand.

I’ll tell you 
What I think you want to hear
Because I know how you think, 
I know what you fear. 



Her Storybook

If want to open her storybook, 
You need a saw. 
Get your rib spreader and your clamps,
Your scissors perhaps.
Cut her deep
Then grab between her breasts, 
Her ribs open like a book. 
But if you try to read her, 
Try to take a look,
There’s just guts and blood and pills.
Try her eyes
There you will see 
Her story waiting. 
But you can’t read that either.


Thank you for having me!

“Thank you for having us!” My father said. A show of white teeth. He said it was important to be polite. 

Even though we didn’t like the food.  
When I was 10 I went to a friend’s house for dinner. When my dad picked me up he said, “Did you thank them?” 

“Thank you for having me!” I said. 

Even though I felt awkward.   
When I was 13 I went for a girls sleepover. 

“Thank you for having me!” I said. 

Even though I didn’t have fun.   
When I was 16 I met a boy named Steven. He was so cute, everyone said. We ate dinner with his dad, who swore at his Mom.  

“Thank you for having me!” I said. 

Even though it made me uncomfortable.
When I was 17 I met a man named Bill. He bought me a margarita I think. I went home too late.  

“Thank you for having me.” I said.

 Even though I vomited on the sidewalk. 
When I was 18 I met a man named Roy. He said he loved me. 

“Thank you for having me.” I said. 

Even though I said no.

Running safe

“Three things.. three things.. three things…”

Frantically I swept dust, stale Cheetos, and abandoned books off my table. Orphaned red and white pills sprinkled the carpet along with all the crap that used to be best intentions. Feeling as if I was keeping them waiting gnawed like an animal clawing inside my gut. 

Got it! The D batteries clinked together as I dropped them into my pocket. I also grabbed my pink neon lighter, a sock, then headed out the door forever.

Sprinting down the street, wind whipped at my face, it should have been bitterly numbing, but it stimulated me. Energy surged through my body in waves, unlike any high I can describe to the common man. My laugh was lost in the wind. This unstable world, the weather, the people, the political climate, would soon be left behind. And finally I was ready to depart. 

I spotted the launch pad ahead, clearly marked with yellow paint. And as their communication had directed, I sprinted toward it, and leaped over the edge.

I woke with hands and feet bound in leather. Stale drool and tears caked my skin, cracking as I opened my mouth and squinted my eyes. I let out a moan, then held my breath when my ribs objected.

Restraints hugged my wrists, but it was apathy that held me. The juxtaposition following my mania filled my limbs with lead, and solidified with time. 

“Anna? Anna? Can you hear me?” 
“Ughhh” I groaned. 

Through squinted eyes I saw a blurry woman. She stroked my hair and I felt faint signals of pleasure. The fuzziness of my vision and mentation made her aura angelic.

“Shhhh.” She whispered. “It’s okay, you don’t need to speak. You’re in the hospital, today is Sunday, I’m your nurse Cara. You fell one story. When the paramedics arrived you were raving about replicating and leaving earth.”

I wondered how much time I had lost with this episode. Each damaged my brain more. On my bedside table was my gray hoodie, I could see the outline of D batteries in the pocket and wondered what the hell I had wanted those for. 

“We have you on suicide precautions so Rob from security is going to have to sit with you at all times. I’ll be back soon dear.”

The security guard smirked. The hospital gown was much too big for me and had slipped down almost revealing my nipples. He scooted his chair closer while readjusting his groin.

I closed my eyes. Trump’s voice on my roommate’s television. A patient yelling. Rain splatting my window. Hunger gnawing my gut. I retreated into my head, simultaneously safe and imprisoned. 



“What’s Wrong With Me?”

At one point in his memoir, Daudet describes staying at a sanatorium, one of those places where everyone understands what everyone else is going through. He talks about the strange pleasure of searching for the patient whose experience of illness is most like his own. Today’s version of the sanatorium is the Internet, where you find a vaporous world of fellow-sufferers, companions in isolation and fear and frustration, as well as practitioners who have made it their life’s work to understand why a segment of the population always feels unwell. I fell into the rabbit hole, and emerged in another world, online.

“What’s wrong with me?” By Meghan O’Rourke

The Burial 

For eighteen years
Breathing was not without 
Joy pouring out 
Too loudly in
Frenzied conversation.
Interruption –
Need’s release. 

Thoughts married to  
My urgent vocalizer 

Passion surges out 
Tongue alive 
Lips move 
Frenzied thoughts released 

Gelatinous organ now


What’s Left of my porcelain shell.
Till furrowed brows
Almost reveal… 
But no,
The Right one,
Is the gooey gatekeeper of
My vociferation.  

Later they’ll find

Scratch marks inside
My ovaloid coffin.

The wind

A great poem from a great writer

Spruce & Anchor

It was a gust of wind
that finally knocked me over.

I appeared, wind-blown and hungry.
Starved, from the winter-long

You, a feast for eyes and soul.
A banquet of six courses of thought.
Palate cleansing sorbet
meeting tongue and cheek.

A dew dropped morning of
cloudy despair and sun grazed lips
fill my ear with
the secrets we do not share.

A memory simple enough
to be altered
underneath the blanket of
quilted afterthoughts.

There was no birth, or death,
resurrection maybe
reincarnation mostly
karmic cleansing breaths
lung capacity

Alone at last, side-by-side,
usual suspects on the dotted line,
we were runaways on a milk carton
kids in the street taking candy from

Tomorrow was not promised,
It was given and taken away,
The calendar stopped noticing
When we did not sleep
eyelids weighed heavy,

I see you in the distance
A pointillism painting

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I Trust too easy. 

In elementary school I gave away the brownie mom packed for me, if someone asked. 

The kids learned to ask. 

In middle school they called me a pushover. 

This was my first epiphany. 

In college they called me a slut because, I let boys sleep with me. 

If they wanted to, why not?

Now I am a nurse, they pay me for my trust. 

They trust me because

I trust easily.