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Mike said in passing my brain wants me dead
and this thought followed me home and                 slipped quietly
through the closing door after me. Woke some         part of me up,
the part that saw its likeness in that statement,
that resonated, like a tuning fork singing
to a broken bone. Google the phrase
and you get a hotline, push past this
and you find an essay. I haven't read it.
I don't want to. That other part does,
but I mostly ignore her. Sit and watch TV
while she claws paint off the walls
in long, peeling strips (she bites her nails
but somehow still does this.) Run past the cedar        bogs
while she threatens to jump in, see what lives
in the murk, pick a fight with it. Drink coffee            and make lists
while she hurls dishes to the floor. Sit and write        poems
while she keens and howls in the corner, and          maybe
this time I turn to her and say (gentle - as a              parent
in her best moments) look, babe, maybe this one is but they won't all be
about you.

published in Snapdragon Journal, Spring 2021

Caitlin Breen is a teacher and writer living in New England with her partner and her cat. Her poems have previously been published in Eastern Exposure and Freshwater.

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