Monstering

Disabled Women and Nonbinary People Celebrating Monsterhood

Ketoconazole

Twilight, feeling
sorry
for myself, scrubbing
runny magenta shampoo
into a hot scalp
with broken nails.
I didn't
turn the lights on,
which was fine
five minutes ago,
but now the light outside
the bathroom window
has gone
 
lavender
and the light inside the room
is creeping-dim, draining to gray.
 
The rectangle,
 
lavender-blue,
reveals
the neighbor's roof,
antenna, chimney. I am still
sorry,
smearing prescription paste
down my shoulder blades,
turned away from the shower head,
hair out of the water,
letting the bitter pink cap of foam
sink in, recognizing
the rock-bottom wretchedness
of trying to rub anything
into your own back, feeling
sorry,
light outside
 
blue now,
and in here my fingernails
are fading.
 
The neighbor's roof,
antenna, chimney now seats
two doves, one
the same mourning male I followed
from window screen to window screen
this afternoon,
listening to that low, soft call,
letting it sink in—
you-uu. uu. you.
 
These same birds stop me, sigh me
when I am frantic—
you-uu,
and here they are, resting forehead-high
in the rectangle
 
indigo now,
but they are together,
no need to call
(you-uu),
and even if they did,
who could hear it
over this water,
sorry—
 
In here, my forehead is hot
against the white tile wall.
Out there they are paired off,
placid.
 
The room has now gone so dim
my feet have disappeared,
and I am here,
rinsing, sorry,
pleading—

water take this drugged lotion,
these flaming cells, water wash me
out, refit me in a skin that keeps me safe
or—sorry—that will lie calmly
under someone else's
hands.

 
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Black and white photo of a white woman in her thirties leaning against a white brick wall. She has long, wavy hair and is wearing pearl earrings and a dark, long-sleeved t-shirt. She is looking at the camera and half-smiling.

Black and white photo of a white woman in her thirties leaning against a white brick wall. She has long, wavy hair and is wearing pearl earrings and a dark, long-sleeved t-shirt. She is looking at the camera and half-smiling.

KATE HOROWITZ is a poet, essayist, and science writer in Washington, D.C. Her poems have been published widely, most recently in The Murmur House, Qu, and Bourgeon magazines, and in the book Unrequited: An Anthology of Love Poems about Inanimate Objects. She blogs at thingswrittendown.com and tweets @delight_monger.