I google disability for depression.
They’ll want to know how crazy I am before
I can benefit. They want to know how many
hospitals I’ve slept in. I can’t walk
to the mailbox some days.
I can’t boil the water. I forget
to feed the cat, change the litter.
She bites my feet when I walk passed the couch.
She scratches my face after I give her a treat.
My mother calls her manicomio. Insane asylum.
The place. Not a person
in that place. I put on lipstick the other day.
My sister thought I was cured.
I bought fishnet tights and started watching porn.
And I wanted to make a beautiful sound with the others
on the screen. Like the time at Lake Tahoe,
a group of us chanted to the Devil and then a woman
went missing on the mountain.
Or when another patient asked me about electroshock therapy.
He said I seemed normal
and could help him make the right choice.
I don’t remember what I told him.
I might’ve said do it, might’ve said don’t.
I might’ve said nothing, mind in the ICU
days before when I promised the paramedic
that if he told me a story I would stay awake
long enough for him to put the tube down my throat.
He didn’t tell me a story, but the tube
lived inside me for two nights. And they strapped
my arms to the bed. Listen, little Madeline.
We aren’t much different. I’d gouge
the eyes of anyone
trying to keep me alive.