​[set in a psychiatric centre]


Our eyes dripped of dust and caked sweat,
hands caught up in between explaining
the mechanics of living
to the heart beats
that felt dead inside,
our fingers frozen in the gestures
they forgot to make into words,
into the words we would rather
spell in the empty air about us than speak;
the chronic symptoms of depression latch
onto your neck, dripping the colourless blood
they call therapy and
my lips shiver when they
unground our bodies from the skin of our beds,
the skin of our skin, the skin long slept-
mother told to stay away from them:
“the clairvoyance reeks badly,” she told me-
lips sealed, lips curled,
perforations dwindling extremities
safely, I learnt how to scream silently.

The lines foretold
our hands braised
of the afternoon when panic came for us,
our clothes discarded in the coffee shop:
“they were seven years old,”
they were seven years old,”
I heard you mutter under your breath.
How eyes cross checked each blink
like the memory of a lost lover was surging away
and the words we speak,
your voice wouldn’t repeat.

I remember a lot of screaming
and blue, doctor scrubs,
and my hands crossed on my knee
and I remember a lot of screaming-
was that usually me?-
in the halls, near the ECT,
behind the trashy literature
they insisted you read-
you never did,
you never derived your secrets from their mechanics,
you drove right into the nuthouse
and I refused to talk-
mother thinks of us, she told me:
“sisters, no blood,”
and I keep weeping.
you broke the desk
they wrote everything on, yesterday,
its dark red splinters calling out the raven,
dust collecting on my cheeks and your lips
as we sat still for years:
the silence still pleading us
to go back home
to breaking things,
to fixing us.


8 thoughts on “maniacs

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