Robin Kinzer

Today, they applied electrodes to my abdomen,
then told me to slowly up the voltage.  With each
added jolt, it felt more like a hundred bumblebees
burrowing beneath my scarred and dimpled skin.

I apologized to my doctor, who apologized right back.
Said: It’s likely the pain is too deep within you for electricity
to penetrate.  Said he would refill the two prescriptions
for pain medicine I need, but would rather dump riverward.

I picked up a 32-pound package today, insisted on not asking
for help.  Tripped over the cardboard edges, sliced open
my palm, fell so hard an oof scurried loose from my chest.
I sat on the long, dark floors of my building people liken

to The Shining.  Let myself wail.  Watched the dozens of doors
as voices poured under their edges, as laughter and cilantro
and cannabis spilled loose.  But nobody bothered to crack
a door, to peek outside, to dart their kind eyes my way.

I do not want to take oxycodone or fentanyl any more.
I do not want to require quartered pink globes of adderall
to stay awake.  In turn, I don’t want to need the one-two punch
of klonopin and cannabis just to sleep through the night.

Knees bruised, ego too shaken to come much more unmoored,
I kick the box back to my apartment with thick black clogs.
Collapse, back against dark chestnut of door.  I dream of a time
when I’m not two weeks away from being an entire infant’s

worth of sorrow.  I try to forget carnivorous sickness.
I wail like a siren calling her own name.  Calling herself
back to the blue-grey pebbled shores where only joy
knew her name.

Robin Kinzer is a queer, disabled poet, memoirist, teacher, and editor. Robin has poems and essays published, or forthcoming, in Kissing Dynamite Poetry, Blood Orange Review, fifth wheel press, Delicate Friend, Anti-Heroin Chic, Rooted in Rights, and others.  She’s a Poetry Editor for the winnow magazine. She loves glitter, Ferris wheels, vintage fashion, sloths, and radical empathy.  She can be found on Twitter at @RobinAKinzer and at

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