The Other Side by Jacqueline Woods

 to separate myself from illness,
Observe it from the outside
where there is still the option
of recovery.
 
Allow me to look at my results
from a safe distance
where the words are not
in focus and there is the pale
possibility that they could be wrong.
 
These may be fragile threads
I’m clinging on to,
Tightrope thinness,
A precarious balancing act
but I can’t afford to topple
 
Into the abyss of sickness.
I was there once before,
Felt its claws cleaving my
thin wallpaper of existence,
snagging the sutures of survival.
 
Sometimes I smell hospitals
on my skin again.
Return to those waiting rooms,
The moment when they call your name,
you rise, clutch your bag,
the door opens,
 
You go in.