Saturday, March 27, 2021

The Pills Make You Gray by Jessi Lord

Lithium: beige, round, tastes
like the nosebleed in Tommy Linshaw’s pool.
Clonazepam: green, round, tastes
like the airport at 5 a.m.
Olanzapine: white, round, tastes
like dropping out of college.
Swallow each with Glacier Freeze
Gatorade from a Dixie Cup.
Tell your doctor if Russian spies
dance naked in the Target parking lot.
He might adjust your dose.
If Chris Rock and Marilyn Manson narrate your life
(since Thursday after Dad took you to Chili’s),
tell your doctor.
He may switch your meds.
Clozapine: yellow, round, tastes
like the branch in Grandma’s back yard
that grabbed your face like a dead arm.
If you are the second coming of Jesus,
levitate fruit loops in aisle seven,
and tell Mom halfway through Eat Pray Love,
she will tell your doctor.
If you crash Mom’s SUV into a Public Library sign
because (per Chris Rock and Marilyn Manson)
it was a portal to another dimension,
you may go to a treatment center in Tampa.
Paliperidone: gluteal injection, feels
like missing Dad’s 60th birthday,
laceless tennis shoes,
and spreading grape jelly on toast
with a plastic spork.

Jessi Lord is a creative writing major at the University of Central Florida. This is her first time being published! An Amelia Island native, Jessi enjoys writing poetry at the beach on her flamingo raft.


  1. Wow! Love this poem. The writing reminds me of a mix between Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club and Susanna Kaysen's Girl Interrupted. There's a frank, grittiness that really resonates. I especially love that the narrators are Chris Rock and Marilyn Manson. Brava!

  2. This (these) maybe be your 1st published poems, but if they're even a fair indication of your ability you've got a friggin brilliant future. Salute!

  3. Really proud of you gorl :)