Wanda Deglane: My Brain on Lexapro
after Lily Trotta
my brain on lexapro is my mother’s old microwave,
constantly short-circuiting and casting the whole room
in darkness. we half-believed in it anyway,
cautiously trying another plate of food, then
backing away, saying, this time it might really explode.
I bike to my therapist’s office in triple-digit-degree
weather, get there pouring sweat and desperation.
it’s my first time biking in at least ten years,
and I’m furious at my brain for still remembering
how to ride a bike, but not how to heal itself, or how
to keep happy memories safe from contamination, or
how to function without becoming a car crash of
splintered pieces and burning metal. I need to see Sarah.
the receptionist looks unmoved. she must see
a falling apart every hour. sorry, Sarah’s not in on friday’s.
she turns back to her computer. please, it’s been months
since I’ve seen her. my life’s gone to shit. what else can I do?
my brain on lexapro is the weeks-old fruit I left
in the back of the fridge. I give it a tentative bite and
find it still tastes sweet and soft-skinned.
an hour later, I’m vomiting into the toilet. I watch it swirl
into the sewers, thinking that if you tilt your head
a certain way, it looks like a river of flowers.
friends I haven’t seen in months are excited to see me.
I try to manually raise my enthusiasm like a lever
in my brain, but my face instead makes a dim echo
of a smile. they don’t appear to notice.
how has your summer been? what have you been up to?
and in my head I see myself, asleep on my bed
with sunlight pouring over my body. hiding from the
screaming, the tension, the heat-slicked nightmares.
going out once every few weeks and feeling raw panic
shoot out of my skin as people close in on me.
it was amazing, I say. best I’ve had in years.
I excuse myself and blackout on a toilet.
my brain on lexapro is a mushy desert wasteland.
it's a cloud choked full of moths that haven't seen light
in years. it's falling out of bed at 5pm. it's half moonlight,
half drowning. lackluster, but only slightly bitter.
I’m sinking my teeth into sand. I’m searching for
my own body in a lost and found. I’m remembering
what it feels like to feel colors in place of emotions.
I am teaching myself how to socialize again.
how to smile and make eye contact and not overshare
about my traumas. I am telling myself it’s because
I want to make friends, but I know what I really want
is for people to stop seeing someone broken
when they look at me. the suffering girl,
girl with no teeth. always melancholy, close to tears.
she’s been through a lot. give her space.
can’t you see she’s still grieving?
my brain on lexapro is a soda can full of bees.
the soda is sweet, yes, if you must know,
but viciously unhealthy. and the bees are
eternally buzzing, swarming, bumping into the sides
looking for a way out. I clutch my head.
I want to crush it in my bare fists.
Wanda Deglane is a night-blooming desert flower from Arizona. She is the daughter of Peruvian immigrants and attends Arizona State University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology and family & human development. Her poetry has been published or forthcoming from Rust + Moth, Glass Poetry, L’Ephemere Review, and Former Cactus, among other lovely places. Wanda self published her first poetry book, Rainlily, in 2018.