(From Dravet Syndrome Blues)
I’ve invested considerable time
Asking if situations were scarier than they were
Or I wasn’t as scared as I was
Or if I was it was justified
And if I was scared, it meant I was feeling something.
I internalized in my coping mechanisms
Affected a nervous tic which started as an inside joke
Stared blankly on rollercoasters, refusing to smile
I hate rollercoasters.
I have a screenplay whose scenes I am forever reliving out of sequence, all about eyes:
dogs with Doric columns for ribs drink me in through hollow eyes, no love for humans;
A woman herds sheep over trash piles as a helicopter descends near, her kohl eyes like
Cleopatra through her burqa;
Carrying my comatose daughter on a stretcher, unblinking;
My mother’s eyes rattle and pingpong unfixed like a doorstop spring as she dies of
A carful of confused men bracketed by the sights of my rifle, they know I hold their lives
in my trigger finger, I squint
Still, I laugh loud and easy
And tend to overshare when I write, because being genuine and vulnerable is my brand
I facebook message people I barely know trying to start open-ended conversations
I tell dad jokes
I try to keep my eyes open
Because I don’t like what I see when they’re closed.
I write to force the words out
Like a cow who needs to be milked
To give names and footnotes to my anxieties and terrors.