Not At Home

EBAE6DE5-97DE-4E48-BA11-974908711FB0This is an atypical poem for me, experimental and a vulnerable one. It describes part of a seminal event as a teenager, when I began forming a false identity out of pain of abandonment, one too much ruled by anger and smallness, and skewed towards intellect—thereby abandoning myself, beginning the habit of inhabiting false homes and stories. One that took me another 3 decades to understand and transform—so I could finally come home to true self.

When you wake up in a locked room
with a red eye camera on you
on a chain-link window morning
you know you’re not at home

When the only mirrors are
strangers’ faces sterile
asking you what you did wrong
to “get in here”
you know you’re not at home

No, you can’t look in the bathroom mirror
for there are none
in which you might break
and use the shards
to tattoo graffiti
on your arm
or carve out slices
of your wrist
bleeding your life
onto the anti-septic floor
or stab a nurse in the neck
you don’t know why

So you can’t look
in a mirror
to see if you still exist
so you have to take the word
from the eyes
of the Professionals
who know you are
a problem.

But problems
at least exist.

You wish it were…
…a swimming unit
a backwoods unit
an ice-skating unit
a Christmas unit
a grandma’s cake unit
a fishing unit
a cornfield unit
a tree house unit
a VCR with Star Wars unit… but it’s just a psychiatric unit
a goddamn it unit
a prison unit
a question mark unit
a kill me unit
a kill you unit
a break out unit
a breakdown unit

and you know you’re not at home.


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