by Neesa Suncheuri
Because she has grown from a woman into a person.
And I cannot love her anymore.
Because she still tries to repair her ugliness
By ironing the wrinkles off her face with paint.
Because she’s told me she envies a snake.
It can shed its old skin when it outgrows its past,
Ready with a fresh one underneath.
I would think my own phallus is more desirable.
And what about the children? They all look like her.
Their skin is pale, and they cling to her tightly.
I own this house, but she owns their hearts.
They look at me, as shields would a dagger.
But this woman of mine…she is like a pair of shoes.
Comfortable and worn.
She is my property,
A practical tool I wield in the garage.
She is built like a rock…
Not marble, but instead raw granite.
She is built like a house…
With a sturdy basement.
She is of value,
As are flat acres of land.
She is strong
As is the ox, that beast of burden.
And she is crazy
For thinking she is anything else.
Neesa Suncheuri works as a mental health peer specialist at a housing agency in Queens, New York. She is the founder of a Facebook discussion group for peer specialists and other recovery enthusiasts, entitled “What is Wellness? A Mental Health Discussion Group.” Much of her creative inspiration is rooted in her now-tamed schizophrenia. She writes poetry and fiction, and maintains a blog called Unlearning Schizophrenia. She is also a singer/songwriter, and an enthusiast for the German language and culture. Follow her on Twitter at @neesasuncheuri.