Session Notes

They draw your blood at 3 am

to check this level

that level–

are you toxic?

And you lay there on a

plastic mattress

like a distressed piece of wood,

your grain


from the constant

sanding down of this

and that–

all they want to talk about is

your dead mother

and how she hit you

when you were a child–

you think about the time

you cried, watching static,

because they were fighting

and all you wanted

was to watch Care Bears

because the blue one made you laugh,

because the yellow one was happy,

because you couldn’t stand

the sound

of you mother screaming,

your father and his heavy boots

kicking at the bottom

of the door


the wood splintered

and broke–

and how your mother

turned on you

in an episode of rage,

burning pieces of wood

to smell Christmas,

her nose broke

under the arm

of your father

and you ate lunch with her

the next day,

at this hospital,

down the hall,

her eyes swollen and purple

like an eggplant

but all you kept seeing

was red blood

and strange hurt in her eyes,

the waxing of



click, click

and your eyes shoot open

to this hospital,

this time,

hearing about Robin Williams’


on the day room television,

drinking bad coffee,

decaf to keep

the crazies

in line.



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