My therapist says it is a disability,
I checked disabled.
My therapist says it is a disorder,
I made a list. There are seven.
My therapist says I will be pushing
a shopping cart down the road one day
talking to myself.
I say, I already do
in the grocery store.
My therapist says I will end up homeless.
I tell her a few of the places I sleep:
Place I live #1:
I live in a small apartment on the northside of the city above a flower shop.
Fresh cut flowers gather in the bottom of the dumpster; I dive in and make a bouquet.
My roommate moves out and I cannot afford the rent.
I take a house-sitting job to hold me over until I find somewhere to live.
The place I am staying in is infesting everything I own.
Bedbugs, little brownish red specimens bite and breed.
There are rusty fecal stains lining the floor mats in my car.
I call them hitchhikers.
Place I sleep #1:
I sleep on a dark rot iron bench in Denver’s Civic Center Park.
The metal digs into my backside as I toss and turn attempting to get comfortable.
I use my newly thrifted coat as a pillow. Music comes from the middle of the park where drag queens are performing for Denver’s Pride Festival.
Queens waltz by in high heels with suitcases brimming to the rim with wigs, sashes, and makeup.
One queen says to the other:
“Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey Baby.
Yes. There you are honey. Don’t you look good tonight.
Stop. Turn around. Let me see that outfit.
Queen. Queen. Queen. You are too much.”
Place I live #2:
I am working in Costa Rica with women stuck in human trafficking and translating for medical teams.
I come back to the United States because I develop an infectious disease that is spreading across my body. I end up in the hospital.
The head I embody feels as though it is about to burst.
Red spots, tiny burst blood vessels across eyelids and down to my toes.
Clear tubes run from my veins pumping painkillers.
I call myself a zombie.
Place I sleep #2
I sleep in the front of my car in a Publix grocery store parking lot.
A small puggle puppy curls up on my lap to keep me warm.
I use my backpack as a pillow.
Car lights flash through the windows as they pull in and out of their parking spaces.
People walk by with plastic bags full of food talking about their troubles, groceries, and children.
A shopper says to her cellphone:
“Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey. Honey.
Yes. There is a problem with that new lady in our book club.
She sucks. Stop it. You did not say that to her.
Is that really what you said?
OMG. OMG. OMG. Shut up.”
Place I live #3:
I move into a new house in West Denver near a big beautiful lake where I can see the whole city.
The house looks like a bunker with a big beautiful backyard for my dog to play in.
Tonight somebody stole a car and drove it straight through my bedroom collapsing the second floor onto the first.
The house is quarantined in a giant white plastic sheet; I am losing everything.
Tiny particles of fibrous silicate, invisible to the naked eye, float around the air.
Asbestos lodges in my lungs and tucks into the pages where bookmarks used to live.
I call this, going mental.
Place I sleep #3:
I sleep in the back of my car because I do not have any belongings to take up space.
I use my back hatch door as a pillow. The nights are quiet except for the crows whose shadows hang from the tree near the lake in City Park.
The crows flap their wings, walk on the edges of the dam.
The crows say to one another:
“Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey. Sweet wings.
Yes. This water looks cold. Brrrrrr.
Did you eat the worm I gave you?
Why aren’t you in the nest? I told you to stay in the nest.
Bird. Bird. Bird. Go hover somewhere else.”
rose gove can usually be found playing Pokémon or reading a book, and that book will more than likely be a graphic novel, comic, or something about the Bitterroot Valley. Writing was always on their mind, and eventually, that became a more constructed reality. After the closure of a transnational writing program in the UK, rose pursued becoming an MFA candidate in the Latin American track at Queens University Charlotte where she is now studying three genres. When not absorbed in school work, rose attempts to submit pieces to small literary magazines far and wide. She is currently learning to embrace letters of rejection and stomp out the imposter’s voice in their head. rose lives in New Orleans, with their artistic partner and little redbean pup.