The therapy room is a bad Halloween costume, a joke
told backwards, an alibi found out. This room is that plus
a month’s rent in Tanqueray plus an ass to shake.
The light fixtures, too delicate to hang a cocktail dress from
while still wearing it. The bar, too American Express
to dance on. Even my vices are impossible fools here.
I am Involuntary Admission. Coconut Rum
In The Corner. My brain chemistry, the toilet
overflowing in the third stall. My lipstick: Kiss Me Coral,
the color of viscera in a cadaver once disemboweled,
before the coroner decides foul play or accidental.
A pair of khakis wants to know if he can buy me
dinner. I say my diet is benzodiazepines and Aquanet.
He says funny joke. I say that’s the name of my memoir.
He orders me another drink and I drink it. This is what I mean
when my therapist asks how things are going and I say
I don’t know. My moral code is in a perpetual game of hide
and seek and I’m pretty sure I’m losing. If it were a drinking game
I think I’d know for sure. This is what I mean when I say
I need a mask or a wig or a new brand of lip color, when I ask
if you’re awake after you answer the phone.
Kayla Wheeler is a nurse and writer from New Hampshire. Her work has recently appeared in FreezeRay, The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society, The Orange Room Review, and We Will Be Shelter, a forthcoming poetry anthology from Write Bloody Publishing.