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Latinx Salud Poems:  An Inaugural Collection

We Are Not Crazy

You walk into
              office
                           after
                                        office
afraid to hear,
“It’s all in your head.”


It’s all in your head …
              Your head …
The place where darkness
festers in silence.


Taking over your actions,
              your limbs,
                           yourself,
until everything crumbles,
because a comforting answer is never given.


But some answer is better than hearing,
“It’s all in your head,”
              over
                           and
                                        over again.

Some answer is better than hearing your mother say,
              “Ya calmate,
              nothing is wrong with you.”
Or hearing your mother yell to your father,
              “She is crazy,
              como tu mamá.”


“You just need to calm down.

Have you tried breathing?”


Breathing …
Lungs burn
with the excess force
of inhaling life,
                           light,
                                        peace,
never found.


Strength to reclaim,
Your old self,
Your good self,
yourself,

never found.
You sit in the cold room,
waiting to hear words you’ve heard before
praying your family will accept the diagnosis,
              someday.
Footsteps approach the cold office.
Your heart beats with hope.


The doctor reminds you,
“Mental illness is a valid health issue.”

May 2019



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