“pain and suffering”

Hopefully I’ll get $30,000 from my car insurance for the “pain and suffering” of me and my bicycle being splattered by a car.
My lawyer gets 1/3 so maybe I’ll get $20k —
The most I’ve ever made for shitting in my bed for 2 months
and for sleeping 24 or 20 or 14 or 10 hours a day for 8 months,
Discovering how my friends’ love brought my brain swelling down enough that my skull didn’t get sawed off and my scalp didn’t get stuffed into my stomach,
Knowing the violence my sweetheart’s voice hurled at the concrete the day they had to picture my end,
Watching them heal my brain by ripping off scab after scab so real skin could go
Insurance has always been annoying
annoying like if 5 new face pimples appeared every time I laughed
but that $20k is ok

when my sweetheart said they needed a break
said that the insanity of the last 6 months made the perfect moment for them to experience not dating anyone for the first time since age 11
said having a fractional version of me for the past 6 months made them want to try single enough to demand it
when I agreed because I only want the best for them
insurance became a joke
a joke like if all school teachers were cops

I’ve cried every day since February
brushing teeth or making lunch might be more fun habits
but missing myself with salty drips is a necessary evil
“pain and suffering.”
My heart falling out of a hole in my sweetheart’s purse isn’t covered by my insurance.

I became a leatherback sea turtle because it was easier than running from them
I’ve been eating jellyfish for weeks
What insurance covers finding yourself in a shark’s digestive track,
over and over again?
Crying all day isn’t a habit
It’s just post-accident Kris

When my sweetheart said I wasn’t their type right now,
and after a few weeks in which I grew accustomed to the shark teeth sunk into my shell,
said that they meant their type right now isn’t an equal
said the thing is, I expect them to surpass their potential
Even when I gift them, comfort and baby them, it’s not chivalry
they can’t help but levy expectations for me equal to the ones I levy for them
after such an intense love experience over the past 6 months, they don’t want love.
They want someone to wrap them in big arms, take them out for drinks, and XXX without expecting anything back.
They just want to be a tanarchist
I figure, sometimes we all need some beach time
I’ve got a great tan from the past 7 months
So I’ll go surfing
There’s an ocean of sharks coming right for me
I don’t even need to bring a board
I’ll surf them
through jellyfish buffets
and the ocean made of tears

I’ll be right at home.


Published by kris gebhard

Kris (pronouns they/them) is a clinical psychologist, poet, percussionist, and gardener currently residing in Chicago, IL.

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