Bullets

I take bullets by mouth.
White and round and oblong and square 

Poison.
You want me sterile

Until you decide 
What to plant inside me.

I’m just a woman
With hips and lips

And the balls to decide
What to put into my mouth.

Washing down the small white dose is
My ritual cleansing of

Psychopathy and 
Your possessive expectations.

And then I breathe 
Pure thoughts 

Released by these
small bullets of freedom.

 
 
 
LROSE

“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

True Story 

Just south of the college campus on Route 93, Kelsey stood on the side of the road. Massachusetts was beautiful during the fall, she thought. The smell of leaves just changing colors and the satisfying crunch underfoot should be soothing.

Cars and trucks whizzed by, but no one stopped. She felt the pull of their wind with each pass.

Cradling her bags in her arms she thought of the win from last night. Fiercly competitive, the thought brought a smirk to her face. This was the smirk everyone knew her by. Winning was how she lived. School, work, beauty even in charity. The thought of ever causing pain to anyone caused a pang in her chest.

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart” she said aloud, one of her favorite mantras. 

She started walking parallel to the side of the road. Watching the traffic. In the distance she saw a large tractor trailer. Perfect! This is just what she had been waiting for. As he got closer she waited, and then with perfect timing she stepped into his path.


 
Paul was hauling 80,000 pounds of rock salt that day. As he drove on Route 93 he had spotted several students. This was not unusual. Although the the road was busy and unsafe, students frequently walked the road and crossed to get to local stores. 

He had spotted her from a distance and thought nothing of it. Until she stepped into the road facing him. Panicking, Paul breaked and swerved to the side. She had locked eyes with him and he couldn’t look away. Her arms were both raised, feet firmly planted, she looked like she was making an “X.” The look in her face was not panic or fear or sadness, just pure determination. 

Her gaze only broke when her body made contact with the truck, she disappeared underneath the passanger door. 

When the truck stopped, Paul ran out. The sight was horrifying. There was blood everywhere, he couldn’t see her face and she didn’t seam to be breathing.

The next moments were a blur. An ambulance crew had somehow arrived. “How do I tube her? She has no face!” Shouted one of them. The other shouting “just look for the bubbling air and put it in there!”

She was whisked away. Just her scattered bags marking the place she had just stood. 


 
On arrival to the trauma unit she was unrecognizable. Her face pulverized mush. Amy stared at the bleeding flesh, and the single eye dangling horrifically down by its optic nerve. She would never forget that image.

 


 -LRose

(Kelsey died four days later. Her kidneys and liver were donated.)

(This is based on a true story, all names and places changed for privacy. )