5th Floor 2nd Door

I see you put on your strength

as you walk down the hall

you pull on your armor

gauntlet and all.

We wait for you at the nurses’ station

clutching brown bags

of clean underwear

and purple eyeshadow

just enough to get you through another week.

You look so calm and so together

in your thorazine sweater

handing out hugs and smiles

left and right

thick and fast.

We have no time to get suspicious.

You throw up a lipgloss smoke screen

and lay down machine gun chatter.

It’s sleight of hand.

It’s marines on command.

And we are taken by surprise

we are all mesmerized.

Because you seem just fine

you seem yourself.

In fact, you’re the very picture

of rehabilitated health.

So we ask all the wrong questions

and you give all the right answers.

This is what everyone wants anyway.

Polite conversation.

Diversionary tactics.

Pretty stories with witty punchlines.

Visiting hours are over at four o’clock

and then the doors lock.

So we all fall in line

we laugh with the track.

You’ve captured your audience

occupied your territory

you’ve palmed everyone

except for me.

Yes darling, I can see you.

Oh I can see right through you.

But you needn’t worry

don’t hold your breath.

I didn’t bring any horses

and I will not call the cavalry.

There are no medics tucked away

in my coat pockets. I’m not here

to rescue you.

So you can lay down your arms.

You can stop the charade.

Let’s just be two girls together

on a Sunday afternoon.

Just two dark girls together

that’s all I’ll ever ask of you.

01.05 | The Secrets of Falling