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  • Todd Wooten

Six Days in the Behavioral Unit

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Where do you see yourself in five years?

standard question, no grounds for panic

enjoy this week long vacation, no shoestrings or belt


two years back, the nurse handed me

green capsules while the borderline girl

battered the payphone out of the wall


all-inclusive, a Jamaican resort

group play, three meals, and a television room

where commercials listed our med's side effects


can I do two more? can I make it to four?

how do you tolerate half a decade?

the prompt stumps me with eight words


days divide in thirds, you have to sleep

you have to work, the remainder is yours

life located in the leftovers


stacking my pills in piles

whiskey in the fridge, fired from sobriety

journal pages thirsty for ink


the question still stings like

alcohol swabs on these cuts

when crayons and markers were my instruments


comical handouts on safety, declared reformed

free to leave the ten bed dorm

clothes and books packed, lugging all I brought in

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