Written by Kaci Laws
Art by Polina Tankilevitch

I attempt suicide everyday.
It feels that way.
I take fifteen to twenty pills
sometimes all at once with a slice

of gluten-free, yeast-free, coconut-free,
aluminum-free, egg-free, dairy-free,
a-will-to-live-free homemade toast
that still gives me minor pain to digest.

(The pills are vitamins. Really expensive
ones my insurance won’t cover
because they can’t take a cut off the top.)

I have an incurable disease
that if I say the name everyone looks
at me like I’ve morphed
into a pile of dog shit, or they wince

because a friend of a friend
or distant relative—has that too!
As if they’re in this club
with me now.

Is that the one where you poo a lot?
Someone asks, discreet.
It’s a common misconception.

I tell them I refuse the biologic drugs
that make up a larger portion
of commercials on TV and ads in magazines,
the ones with long lists
of side effects recited by a soft spoken
woman in a sing-song voice

set to a backdrop of happy people
running with their purebred dogs;
they look at me
as if I’m making the whole thing up.

The same people that know
a guy who knows a guy
suggest treatment options,
like I haven’t had time to consider

them in the thirteen years
I’ve had
the goddamn thing, staring
at the ceiling
at night, reading books

on diets like a mad scientist
searching out miracle cures,
having probes stuck up my ass.
It took me two years
to find a naturopath doctor
that knew anything about me.

I just agree.
Yeah, I’m just joshing you;
oh yeah,
I’ll file that somewhere inside
my short term memory along
with your name!

Just say you’re sorry.