Cold Chemical Comfort

After Wislawa Szymborska

I’m an antipsychotic
I mend broken minds
Let me turn your paranoia into trust
Your confusion into clarity
I’ll expel those voices
And tame your wild delusions
I’ll numb your pain and deaden your anxiety
I know how to lighten your load
In the absence of family and friends.

But I have a dark side
I’ll make your head feel like it’s
Stuffed with cotton wool
Your ideas will evaporate in a fog
I’ll make you crave McDonalds and sugar
And have you eating food
Like a deranged hog
I’ll watch you grow into obesity
With each morsel of me
I’ll do away with your desires and urges
Your mouth will feel like a sand pit
Your hands will tremble
And you’ll wobble
You won’t shit for days at a time
My kindness will eventually kill you.

But I am your chemical lifeline
Give me your madness and
I’ll soften it with sedation
Just swallow me with water
And let my cold chemicals comfort you.

© Sandy Jeffs 2012

Sandy Jeffs is an Australian poet and community educator. Her memoir Flying with Paper Wings: Reflections on Living with Madness, published by Vulgar Press, was SANE book of the Year in 2010. You can read more of her poems and essays on this site here.


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