The trouble with anxiety is it always wins. My brown eyes,
my widow’s peak – everything else a recessive trait;
lab tests confirm it’s there
but damned if it’ll ever bubble up to the surface
and break skin like a second puberty.
Eventually I forget the suit jackets
and the boys’ names, the awkward attempts at masculinity
which is chivalry
which is buying my mother flowers
which is submission. Funhouse mirrors are broken clocks –
still right twice a day, and these wine-stained old rugs
are red carpets when the light hits just so. On the one hand, reality:
poor Narcissus at the pool-edge,
mistaking a trash heap for Pangea. On the other, I’ve taken action,
vomited up the monologue. Many mornings
I can see the things I would have accomplished
had I wrangled my diagnoses
into some kind of transcendence.
What does it mean that I’ve slept with more people than my mother? I keep
no ribbons in my hair though these swelling hips monsoon androgyny,
wash away the first person til I am a side-plot in someone else’s narrative,
ears ringing and phone silent and that ovum’s needle pricking holes in the
firmament while skin spreads like meringue in the cardinal directions.
Still, the sheets are caked with gore and weather patterns. Still, the waves
beat on their breast in unison. Still, I cough up air, inhale water, trace the
delta of my veins to its tenebrous crest. If I am made to pay in blood I want the
land to witness. Let me be Noah. And if not – then the flood.
Ipecac and Antibody were originally published in West Trade Review, 2015
Sonya Vatomsky is a Russian American non-binary artist with too many feelings on the inside and too much cat hair on the outside. They are a staff writer at Haute Macabre as well as the author of Salt Is For Curing (Sator Press, 2015). Say hello: Twitter, Instagram, sonyavatomsky.com.