by Christina Linsin
CW: Medical procedure, patient restraint, and self harm.
I still remember the taste of the tube,
charcoal powdered worm inching, one-eyed,
it burned, choking out charges, then slurping slurping
more intimate than fucking, insatiable depths,
eternal sucking. Flashes of fighting, voices insistent
I gave them no choice; I tied their hands.
They tied down my hands. I still remember the
empty quaking. They said it would hurt more
later. In the morning my mother, crying
consternation, my father still, distant. I remember
each an accumulation, passing down more
than length of bone. Every tragedy is second-hand,
they’d passed down their alone – look
what you’ve done to me my mother demanded;
I could not speak. Her hands leaped in waves from her lap,
seeking someplace to go. I wanted
someplace to go. Still. Slow. I remember
the ward quiet except at night, keening
echoes amplified; everything white – floors, sheets,
walls, wounds – all fluids licked clean.
Christina Linsin is a poet and teacher living in western Virginia. Her poetry examines connections with the natural world, the complexities of mental illness, and the difficulty of creating meaningful connections amid life’s obstacles. Her work has been published in tiny wren lit, and she has work forthcoming in The Milk House, and Still: The Journal. She can be found on Twitter @ChristinaLinsin.