photo by Neha Mani
You’re such a brave girl.
They say as they surround the bed and gaze down
At my pathetic figure
Sunken in the depth of linen sheets
They place useless trinkets on my side table
Cheap cards, a Walmart bear, and
A deflated Get Better Soon! balloon
They think I’m a vacuous fool
Comforted by their hollow displays of affection
They fidget and smile anxiously
Eager to leave this unsettling inferno
What’s that smell?
They wrinkle their noses and look around.
Guilt frames their face when they realize that it smells
of disinfectant and desperation
Of an intoxicating flower flourishing
In the pit of my stomach
Its roots stretching through my veins
Clasping at my throat
At least you can afford treatment.
Their faces crumple in self righteous indignation
A few haughty goodbyes
And they leave
The double doors swinging
God gave you another chance.
Cream walls and frayed acrylic curtains
An old TV set gathering layers of dust
Fixed in the corner.
A chance indeed.