From the Journals of Madness
Suddenly, one day
hit me like truck
hit me like out of control
like poison hit me
hit me like inside
under her pillow
The patient had smears for lips, hair gnarled at the roots.
Blue eyeliner, icing on a cupcake.
The Australians have a saying: “Be happy at all costs.”
My father has a saying: “Don’t cry or I’ll keep you in here longer.”
Once, I had an overdose. Da took me to the psychiatric ward.
Believing there was nothing wrong with me.
Believing I should be punished for an overdose.
They let me out when I started wearing lipstick again.
I will not subject myself to the unknown, she said. I will not allow you to electrocute my brain. She tugs at her earlobe. Her lipstick line smears a little. A dozen hatch marks frame her mouth. Like a map. Like topography. Her earrings dangle on a tight rope wire. A fishing line. I will not subject myself to the unknown, she says again, staring all day at a record spinning round.