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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 23 page 23

verse

The Subject

by Terry McDermott

doctors are performing
a living autopsy on my brain:
they need insight,
they want to restore me,
reboot me to original factory settings

i have become the subject:
the person contained in
three thick folders
of notes and observations,
prescriptions and medications

that’s what i am,
an experiment:
testing theories foreign to me

all around are the white coats,
the doctors, the experts, the specialists,
prodding me with their questions,
trying to de-code my answers,
writing more notes

i don’t want to care anymore what they think,
but i do:
they think what i know or feel isn’t quite real,
they talk soothingly about psychosis
in the clinical kind of remote terms
doctors use to avoid emotion:

vacant voices from outside
asking asking asking for answers
i don’t have