Jody Azzouni

Poetry

Asylum

Earlier version (titled: Why do I insist on feeling guilty?) published in APA's Newsletter on Philosophy and Medicine 90:2, 1991.
Added 8/12/2017
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Asylum

Poem | Jody's Notes

 

Just outside, I step on the snow

hear it murmur like oppressed voices.

Moments later I’m sitting stiffly

on a gray mattress, watching your eyes

move in their sockets.

Like moles granted temporary sight,

we silently turn to watch the sun

caged in the window above you.

You hug your pillow, pull at it, whine,

until I think it’s someone you know.

I’m ashamed, but I can’t touch you,

not even when your eyes

spill their guts onto your cheeks

and you describe memories

some of them yours.

Next, you knead your hands into the pillow

so I can hear the fabric screech and tear

then cradle your head in your hands and mumble

while I watch my wrist,

and wait for the hourhand

to move.

 

Later, I will grind my heel into the slush,

wonder if I always knew

I would be a coward.