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bipolar.after they diagnosed my father,
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my mother told me,
if she had known,
she would have never had children.
it scares me to think that,
one day i could hear a small voice saying,
“mommy, i don’t feel right.”
“you don’t look sick,”
they say, noticing that i’m not dragging around
an i.v. stand.
noticing that my sweatshirt is black
and not a white hospital gown
swinging around marbled, knocking knees.
“but i’m still unwell,” i say
in a voice that doesn’t shake
and they just look disappointed,
like i don’t fit.
like i’m the skewed painting
on the fucked-up-person wall.
“but,” they say, “don’t bipolar people
usually kill themselves?”
“but i tried,” i say
with my wrists unmarked
and they just shake their heads
almost as if to say
not hard enough.
“poor girl,” they say, looking right at me,
sitting next to my dad as he laughs too loud.
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she talks through her wrinkles,
'i have no desire for food', she says.
i take her plate to the kitchen
noticing how the beetroot shavings bled into the skin of the chicken and brown rice.
it was blood, skin, and bone,
and the rice was a million starlike cells floating between.
this reminds me of my anatomy textbook:
we've been learning what's beneath our skin,
we learned that all cells divide. some cells often don't stop dividing.
other cells divide and stop when they should...
but not my grandmother's.
starlike, they explode, they shatter, they consume
i want to be mad at my grandmother's cells,
but what would that do?
i want to talk to my grandmother's cells,
i want to tell them they can be alive
and not kill her.
i have to catch the moon,
i have to visit hades and bargain with beautiful music,
i have to sell my voice for legs,
i have to sail the ocean blue in search of a good reason why cancer can't just be what it is.
this is not a fabled life