the psychopathology of a head full of eggshells

by Ruth Baumann

So you crawl into the attic with a flashlight to chase out the ghosts, but all you find are bats, & the bats are carrying moles in their mouths & the moles are carrying your body in their mouths: this is the image you’d like to express when they first hand you a feelings chart in rehab & say what? Instead, you write non-feelings. You chase invisible hands to hold. One night at group, a woman who’s graduated to a halfway house shares that she cussed out her roommate for doing the laundry wrong.  You’re in awe of her emotional range. Another woman’s father shows up for group coked out of his mind. Help me help her, he actually says, or something like that. Valentine’s Day passes. It’s still winter but you can’t get cold enough. They show you drawings of stick figures crossing The Bridge of Reason to the Shores of Faith. Yes, you say to some things. You cut your bottom lip pushing a pen cap against your face, at which point it occurs to you that you haven’t tasted blood since your last nosebleed, at which point it occurs to you that your nose doesn’t bleed all the time anymore, at which point it occurs to you that this is the rest of your life, right now.

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Ruth Baumann is an MFA student at the University of Memphis, & Poetry Editor of The Pinch. Her poems are published or forthcoming in Birdfeast, Ilk, Permafrost, Superstition Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, & a few others listed at www.ruthbaumann.wordpress.com.

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