Washing Off the Raccoon Eyes

It was my right to fail. To swerve

out from the panopticon of medication

and embrace disorder.

To curve under the weight of

errant options, become a grave.

I’m a yellow mango, pitted.

After it was done I had nothing to say.

Silence the slim wake of loss. Months.

I didn’t cry at the Swiss Chalet.

I didn’t cease to exist, so I took to drinking again

and cal-mag supplements and even travel.

I wrote a poem ten pages long.

I was alone and then not alone.

And then alone again and not alone, again.

I rejected ownership but it haunted

some mornings and I would search

the empty house––

one eye open the other turned in,

then scuttle back to bed.

I dreamed of houses for days

on end, attics that broke upwards

into greater more solid spaces

like a tooth growing into an occupied gum.

I climbed out, studied the nature

of obligation and returned to my old job.

I’m one of those women who is always chilly,

but I learned to put more clothes on. •