IPECAC
SONYA VATOMSKY

 
 
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.