I don’t wear a watch in hospital. I count time by meals.
A nurse hands me a Milky Way bar after ECT.
I hold it in my lap; look at the wrapper with its stars
and swirls. My wheelchair zooms down corridors
back to the ward. ‘I can walk’ I say.
‘This way will be quicker’ says the nurse.
Crinkle cut chips and Caramello koalas
are the foods I crave most when mad.
Instead nurses come with tiny paper cups, stand
over me as I swallow the wafer, the tablet, the liquid,
whichever one it is that night. I don’t know what to do
with the wafer. I stick it in my mouth and before I know it,
it dissolves on my tongue like fairy floss.
A nurse shines
a torch into my face to see
if I am sleeping.
The light disappears and with it—
the nurse’s torch glow grin.
Has my illness made up
the expression on his face?
are few. My memories
have no soundtrack.
I do not hear
his footsteps retreating,
or the other patients sleeping.
I only see a demonic grin
in a dark ward.
How to Knit a Human
Loose threads replace my body.
Frays appear unseen over time.
Threads unravel—gripped and pulled
by hundreds of invisible pincers.
Now I knit myself back into a human.
It’s hard work relearning the steps.
I get into a rhythm. The pattern is complex—
I drop a few stitches.
The holes form the gaps in my memory.
Anna Jacobson is a Brisbane based poet, writer, and artist. Her poetry has been published in literary journals including Cordite, Rabbit, Australian Poetry Journal, Tincture and Foam:e. She is one of The Red Room Company’s commissioned poets for ‘Poetry Object 2017’. In 2016 she was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Young Writers and Publishers Award, the Scribe Nonfiction Prize and the University of Canberra Health Poetry Prize. She was shortlisted for the 2015 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Creative Writing) from QUT and is currently undertaking her Master of Philosophy (Creative Practice), specialising in poetry at QUT. Read more from Anna at website.