my mother told me,
if she had known,
she would have never had children.
it scares me to think that,
one day i could hear a small voice saying,
“mommy, i don’t feel right.”
“you don’t look sick,”
they say, noticing that i’m not dragging around
an i.v. stand.
noticing that my sweatshirt is black
and not a white hospital gown
swinging around marbled, knocking knees.
“but i’m still unwell,” i say
in a voice that doesn’t shake
and they just look disappointed,
like i don’t fit.
like i’m the skewed painting
on the fucked-up-person wall.
“but,” they say, “don’t bipolar people
usually kill themselves?”
“but i tried,” i say
with my wrists unmarked
and they just shake their heads
almost as if to say
not hard enough.
“poor girl,” they say, looking right at me,
sitting next to my dad as he laughs too loud.
they are the only ones who grimace
as they say,
having to put up with that every day.”
“bipolar disorder,” my phys ed teacher/
my old friends/
spit, like the word is a pill
melting on their tongues.
“all teenagers have mood swings.”
swings are fun
until you’re strapped down
and can’t leave.
until all you know of the world
is a bright, dizzying blur.