CONFINEMENT

CATHERINE WEISS

 

in captivity once

a beluga whale

learned

to mimic a human

voice

pitch and rhythm

they thought she

said “get out”

so the keeper

climbed out of the tank

whale     was

done with

hearing only her

desperate

solitary thoughts

reflected from

a concrete wall        belugas

are captured

because they are expressive

and

they die less often than

other whales in

confinement       but water is

not enough

to keep being

alive       she knew how

to grin big

look happy

      no one

 understanding      she wanted

not to die

in this cage

 

 
 
 
 
i took a shower

in the dark

& brushed teeth

put on clean clothes

applied

make up      in the psych ward

somehow

i do all the right things

in return

the doctors say i’m

certainly

improving     they

say i look

like i am

employed

in the hospital      this is because i am

on vacation

at a daycare

for the mentally ill

if i worked

here      i would be

even more

visibly depressed        it’s just

i wish they knew

my illness is

frightening

but if i called them all

fuck-heads they’d

give me

more drugs

& force me to talk

of myself