Poetry from Jade Driscoll
To My Psychiatrist: A Non-Exhaustive List of My Recurring Nightmares
I am visiting the grandmother who wishes
I wasn’t her granddaughter. I’m in the blue
Cutlass Sierra that Mom had when I was a kid.
At the crest of a hill I must descend to reach
dear old grandma’s house, someone stops me.
The hill has disappeared, they say. But this
makes no sense, and the blue Cutlass Sierra
edges down the hillside and drops into a pit
of nothingness. I’ve never seen myself emerge
from the pit. I think my grandmother is happy.
I have a pet fish. He looks like Lucky, the neon-yellow
fish I had in high school, except this fish jumps out
of the tank when I open the lid to feed him. I watch
him flop on the carpet before I spur into action,
trying to save the fish that’s trying to die. He slips
through my fingers dozens of times before I succeed.
Instead of sliding him back in the tank, I drop him
in my mouth. I force myself to wake up when I realize
I am hurting him once again. I always cry.
I am being yelled at for something I didn’t do.
No matter how much I try to defend myself,
no matter how much I try to tell dream-me to get stronger
or to change the dream to give me a voice, I remain
hoarse. My throat shreds itself raw as I beg
to be heard. I am conscious enough to know
that I shouldn’t have to beg.
I am reunited with the boy I loved
when I was fifteen. Every time
he opens his mouth—to say he loved
me back, to say he’s been waiting—
we are separated. Someone interrupts us.
The building catches fire. Aliens attack.
We are physically harmed until we leave
each other’s sides. I am beginning
to forget what his voice sounds like.
Jade Driscoll is a recent graduate of Central Michigan University with a master’s in creative writing. When she’s not writing, Jade enjoys reading, listening to music, and walking in local parks. Her work has previously appeared in Collision Literary Magazine, Plainsongs, Remington Review, and others. You can find her online @thepoetjade.
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