The Goings-on Between Patient and Psychiatrist

Brilliance from Kindra M. Austin


What you think you know of me, you’ve gleaned

from pages of a yellow legal pad stained with sterile ink


from your doctor’s pen;

it’s an emotionless affair, the goings-on between patient and psychiatrist.

I’m a mistress in hysterics seeking validation from

just another goddamned man.

If this

were the nineteenth century, you’d have long sent me

to an asylum

and had my womb mutilated by staff surgeons.

When I speak, you scribble,

and I imagine you’re only illustrating me naked,

sprawled upon the divan, jaundice skinned and lined with blue.

“Make me a whole person,”

you write


a comic book word bubble inserted

right above my over-sized head.

Yes, I know what you’re up to,

but I continue talking about how I feel since learning

my mother

had woken up dead, and the gut-raping grief inside of me,

because I do want to be a whole person.

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