Three Micro-Essays

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ anyway

In the uber the driver says We could go someplace, We could go anywhere and my head lolls the cigarette he let me light bouncing through the window into the wind We could go someplace he says In the uber two white men talk about what rap matters today while I look at the veins bulging out of my hands In the uber through the window one sunflower tall beside the freeway, a wildflower all alone In the uber we pass the protestors occupying the capitol I say Don’t you want to talk to them you say no and we go to the park to eat an assortment of fine cheeses In the uber You Oughtta Know comes on and I don’t make it to karaoke but I sing along to deny me/ of the cross I bear that you gave to me In the uber pool I admit I am attracted to you before I walk the rest of the way alone in the fog In the uber the driver tells me his niece has my name in the uber pool the first woman home is so asleep we can’t wake her even by shaking her even by blasting music by touching her face and it is weird to puppet a stranger awake the driver asks where the nearest police station is I want us to go to a hospital but her breathing is normal her pulse is strong I checked it it’s strong and then the cop is laughing shining his cop light in her face and shaking her harder and she wakes up for long enough for her to wake again when we take her home a second time she doesn’t go inside but calls someone on the phone and me too I’ll do anything but head inside head where I live In the uber I’m sobbing when I leave the driver says don’t hurt yourself in the uber the driver tells me In another language your name means happiness

before my therapist left for his vision quest he said I think you’re on the cusp of something

outside the perfect rain shakes down like beans in a tube inside I glimpse the bottom of the pot shoving fistfuls of old noodles down with my hands at the end of every gravel driveway is a shadow in the shape of a raccoon never an animal never the heaving startled thing just her outline as a kid I walked in a straight line down the road and thought to my legs stop moving stop moving but they kept right on foot after foot I keep leaving my boots in the rain I hear a woodpecker but can’t find any trees sometimes in bed I wouldn’t know my limbs from the horn of a freight train I wake up ready to die even in the woods even in the woods God built for the poets I was alarmed when the smallest lamb walked alone up the road I've been assured it's just that age where the others force him out there's a ram already among them I wish I could say it was the bright red party juice or the boyfriend that flipped me over like an underdone pancake but even as a baby I claimed to be too old for applesauce nothing can unmake me a half-body if I stick around I'll keep expecting to know why I'm stuck here the lamb jumped the fence all by himself

when I expressed concern about the 11mm cyst in my pineal gland she continued on with the questionnaire about whether I had ever been violent toward myself or others

Any pain? says the nurse as she wraps the blood pressure cuff around my arm. No, I say, because to admit the full ache in all of me would be to ask for something stronger or something worse. Down the hall the psychiatrist says This is an approved treatment as if I am a robot or she is a robot and I do not ask for something else. To ask is to ask for something stronger or something worse. They order my bloodwork again and I know I will not make it to the other wing for walk-in hours. All these doctors after my blood, measuring the level of the drug they use to keep me weak. Entering the experiment in the first place was a mistake. Now all the doctors have the files forwarded to them, a chart they keep from me. The one online is a false document. Anything they tell me at the clinic where I go to get my testosterone is a lie. They have trouble finding my vein again, and the nurse keeps moving the needle around as if that would make the blood flow. A third nurse, a third puncture, and now they tell me I can go, and I sip my juice box and do not run. I want to run. If I run I am sure they will track me to the nearest dark spot in the state. Any paranoia? the doctor asks. I say no and do not mention the months I wouldn’t call, thinking the whole year had been a scheme to make me worse. To make more money, to make me afraid to speak. To make more of me, everywhere.  

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