A Girl Gone
My brain is not the sensible kind
It’s the kind that backfires and shatters
Housing thoughts that are deaf and incomprehensible
Distracted by my very own glitches
My body is a blanket, a duvet for dead flesh
Skin that shivers like chimes, clinking in my skin
My blood sulks and pouts as it licks my skull
Sticky red sickness
Tucked deep inside, stitched to my veins, my heart makes the sweetest noises as it sputters and deflates
A whistling, gurgling goodbye lullaby
But my ears are full of echoes, angry voices arguing over me
Loud enough that it drowns out my farewell
My smile has never been the softest, in fact my mouth is crammed and jagged
I pick disease from between my teeth
And these eyes came to me crusted and clenched shut
Oozing illness that festers under my lashes
My freckles tap dance too loudly on my pained, pale face
Saluting wisps of hair that dance across my forehead
My legs are burdened and bruised from carrying my weight
I reach out to hold your hand but my fingertips drip like paint
Is this how I die?
A body that dissolves into nothing?
Decays into something darker?
A girl like me gone permanently crazy
Dr. Rachel Kallem Whitman is an educator, advocate, and writer who has been shacking up with bipolar disorder since 2000. Rachel is an adjunct professor who teaches courses on unpacking ableism (disability oppression) and her speeches, interviews, and writings on the topic have garnered acclaim locally in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, across the United States, and internationally. Her debut book, “Instability in Six Colors,” paints a vivid picture of what it is like living with chronic mental illness, trauma, and a complicated relationship with sanity, safety, and suicide. Rachel’s mission and passion is to create a safe community to empower individuals to look beyond their illness to find themselves. You can buy this bipolar narrative through One Idea Press, a woman-owned independent press based out of Pittsburgh, PA, as a paper copy or ebook. For more of her work please be sure to check out Rachel’s website seebrightness.com and visit her Medium page.