More Than Cherry


When I usually think of sickness, I think of all things syrupy red
Like the cherry cough medicine that you take as a nightcap before bed
Or like the blood that runs
out of your nose when there’s a lightness in your head
Or like the erect centers of thermometers that seem so easily misread
Never does it come to mind...the more insidious things.
The anxiety, the subconscious behaviors
Like married fingers twisting a wedding ring
The subtle symptoms that I’ve developed attack from inside out
I don’t know why I call them subtle when they always make me so loud
I go into small fits, repeating curse words over and over again
But it’s not gash nor broken bone, so it’s surely something I can mend
I don’t know where the hubris comes from regarding issues with my body
When learning about fractions or wars, I dared never be this cocky
To think that I not only KNOW the answer, but also KNOW the question
To think that I can self-diagnose, self-medicate,
And impersonate an entire profession
But, my old methods don’t work anymore. This is new and different.
Different because this struggle is of the mind
Of chemicals with poor balance, vertigo in space and time
And in the same breath, it’s the heaviest of weights
But also smoke between my ears,
Not too bad to incite alarm, but just enough to incite fear
Growing up, I wish I was told that medicine can be more than cherry
There’s grape, and orange, and most of all,
Knowing the broken things your brain can carry

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