He is old, balding and bespectacled.
A Freudian slip of a man in a sweater vest
sitting across from me.
“I’m going to show you some white cards with black ink blots,” he says,
“and I want you to tell me what you see.”
Rorschach? Really? How cliché.
I say nothing. Soon enough I’ll be back on the ward
where everything is white.
Black ink blots seem downright festive at this point.
He holds up the first card expectantly.
“A bat,” I say.
We continue thusly, well past either of our
enthusiasm for the task.
What does he make of all the bats I see?
Likely thinks I’m bat-shit crazy.
But really, I’m just reminded of my ramshackle apartment
and how bats fly in at night through the open window.
It’s happened more than once. More than twice.
Hence, I’m seeing bats. Ink bats.
He never asks what’s up with all the bats.
By the time he displays the last card, it’s painfully obvious:
at least one of us is not playing with a full deck.
I am given no diagnosis, no analysis,
no Rorschach cheat sheet to explain
the symbolism of bats.
I’m just returned to the white-walled ward,
where I will sleep that night in a hospital bed
and dream of ink blots flying away
through an open window.
dVerse Tuesday Poetics: Madness — “For this Poetics Challenge, write in the 1st or 3rd person of your own experiences (real or imagined) or your witnessing mental health issues.”