Torn between the vault toilet in one direction and a trail in the other, I, too, want to choose adventure. I want to hike and wander and frolic, intestines weightless, amygdala suspended. I want to shimmy into the party dress, pajamas out of sight. The first fifteen seconds say I am not alone. The next fifteen promise that I can be free. The last five are a single-breathed flurry of butterflies and heart failure, breezy sundresses and leukemia, sandy toes, and kidney disease. The itemized cost of being alive, alligators beneath the carnival boardwalk, monsters under my bed.
About the Poem
The news about the rising popularity and off-label use of Ozempic, including its side effects, inspired this poem about medications that I often see advertised (some of which I take) for my own chronic autoimmune disease, ulcerative colitis.
About the Author
Preeti Talwai writes from the California coast, where she is also a researcher in tech.