the patient.Like a crooked creation of Kafka, she now knows what it's like to wake up and find herself as a porcupine. She can feel the quills shivering against her skin, from her crown of thorns to the tender back of her neck and through the tingling of her every vertebrae."Maybe I'm the Chupacabra...""No, sweetheart, no. You are a porcupine. Can't you feel it?""Mmkay."She aches all over and cannot open her eyes until a tight grasp comes over her arm."Don't touch me," she mumbles, but she isn't speaking in a human tongue. "Don't touch me; it'll hurt. Stop! You'll bleed! Please, please, please don't bleed!"And now she's stumbling down the hall, away from the hands that bleed, shedding her quills along the way before she collapses on the cold tile floor. Muffled voices rise and fall above her, but she cannot understand."Am I dead?" she whispers, and the voices subside for a moment, then begin chattering away again, ignoring her foreign words. "Am I dead, am I dead, am I dead?"And sud
The Quiet DosesSmooth plastic cupof psychotropic drugsI swallow -red, white, cream and bluethe strangeness of lithiumcurling sleepilyon a numbmedicated tongue.They dose me withyellow meltslike a yellow brick roadpaving me to realityback into wakingcurled and fragilein a smooth plasticcup of sanity
Hospital MorningI'm woken for medicationI swallow them down,and listen for the soundof the grey trolley wheelssqueaking across the cold linoleum.A small cup of fruit juiceand a white bread rollare the only things that don'ttaste like antiseptic or anaesthetic.I ignore the cardboard cerealit its little boxthe canned fruitand plastic food.Every morning I take medication,fruit juice,and a little bread rollto start the day.