Prose – “Floor”




Floor // by Jennifer Patino


I’d be lying if I said I were comfortable. Someone once said, “You wear pajamas all day, how can you not be comfortable?” Another said, “You’re at home in your room, how are you not comfortable?” My hooded sweatshirt is comfortable. I make sure to wash it correctly so all of its warm fuzziness will stick around for awhile. I love those hospital socks with the skid resistant patches on the bottoms. If I have to run from something, I won’t fall upon the linoleum.

I like pressing my face to that cool, sticky surface when I have a migraine. I turn the lights off, & pray the pain away. I like rubbing my cheek after I fall asleep. I feel the lines & indents coinciding with wherever I’ve finally been able to capture a small reprieve. A cat nap. I hate cats.

There is no being comfortable when your skin doesn’t fit you. There is no being comfortable in a body convinced it has been dying for the past decade. There is no being comfortable when you’re so full after swallowing nothing. There is no being comfortable when you’re constantly hungry, but your belly, your abdomen, & your insides always feel so swollen & full.

I’d be lying if I said there were still good days. I’d be lying if I told you I just liked changing my trash cans daily. That it has nothing to do with the vomiting. It has nothing to do with the gagging. It has nothing to do with how my throat feels like it wants to expel my kidneys from me, but that won’t happen. It will, however, keep constricting & trying. I can feel my organs twisting within me. Pulsing like a planet with foreign invaders. They burst, & alien bodies enter my bloodstream. I cater to a whole galaxy, & they exist only to feed upon me.

Drinking water takes willpower. Leaving the bed is a little miracle. My face is pressed to the floor in defeat. I am conquered today. I pray for sleep.



Poem – “Limits”

Limits Photo by Me



Limits // by Jennifer Patino

I’m getting to know my limits
instead of despising them,
and fighting them

Good morning, failing body
Who has sliced you open,
replaced your insides with lead?

I fall asleep at the peak of day,
I wake up, the sun is dead
My digital clock is too bright

Green glow on my pallid hand,
My green light bulb so I can make
the whole room look sickly

I whimper, my love comes quickly,
I’m his darling burden,
the crumpled spider widow on the floor

My face is familiar with waste bins,
My leg has pieces missing from it,
I am a mosaic of oversensitive nerves

sealed under the numb, the firecrackers,
the movement that echoes through the courtyard,
my ankles, my knees, my neck

“You’re not old yet”
Don’t remind me, youth never graced me
I’m childlike but my eyes are aged

The disease is a restraint
and I am no suffering saint,
I find no joy in this

I’d trade anything
for healthy bliss