replacing carol

he says they are working on a test for schizophrenia. and i ask him if i will fail. he assures me it’s not about individuals it’s just about traits. he takes out his giant graph and says wouldn’t you like to be up here. i can see he doesn’t mean this as a question. i don’t ask him where he thinks i am now but i imagine he finds me hovering at the bottom somewhere between unfortunate and unlivable. and i say well i have a bit of a fear of heights but i’m sure life would be easier up there. and he explains the benefits of progress and i thank him for confirming my existence is a mistake. he insists once more it’s not about me it’s just about my brain. i try to imagine myself with a new brain perfectly suited to this razor-sharp world. but it’s hard to imagine another brain with the brain i have so i ask him how he can change my brain without replacing me. he smiles his visionary grin. we’ve prepared a replica. i turn around and stare. my what good work you’ve done! she looks just like me.

Carol Krause is a poet whose writing explores the brutality and delight of living without skin, a condition that is sometimes called schizoaffective disorder. Carol’s poetry was recently published in The /tƐmz/ Review, Open Minds Quarterly, Dreamers Magazine, filling Station and Understorey Magazine, and is forthcoming in CAROUSEL Magazine. A lover of the underworld, Carol feels most alive when crawling through caves.