You spent the better part of your teenage life in and out of patient programs
You, amid the chaos of inner schizophrenic delusions went to the church for love, and found only the police who happily escorted you to the hospital
They wouldn’t let you wear anything with laces because they feared you might hurt yourself or someone else. Even though we knew that you’d never hurt anyone. For five days you wore those toad green scrubs and ate what they fed you in styrofoam dishes.
We came to visit you every weekend and she who visited you every weekday while your fingernails grew as long as the stories you told in short, incomplete phrases.
When they released you from the hospital we all knew that you weren’t ready to come back. Tonight you dyed our bathtub a permanent pink. We don’t know how you did it. All we we could hear was the way that you gagged endlessly in the shower.
Mom kneels praying with sponges and bleach on the floor. Did you drink the soap? How did you perform this magic trick?
The mystery of when this will end is making me feel congested. I don’t want to hide you any longer. I don’t know how to love you anymore, please teach me how to.