Over the last year, Chelsea McCutchin has been working on an ORP Library book about Prader Willi syndrome and has been inspired by the beauty and the pain of those who suffer with this fascinating disorder. Here, Chelsea expresses what it feels like to be caught inside of PW through a poem called a sestina. (reading hint: focus on following the punctuation, not the line structure).
The only thing anyone notices is my hunger.
That’s what they know when they’re picking
through the articles—obsessed
with finding the shocking. Foraging
between the lines and pulling the simple
from a plethora of complexity. Making my syndrome concrete.
But my life falls harder than my sneakers on the concrete.
Each moment seeking satiation for my hunger.
Smirks follow me, rolled eyes and mutters of “simple.”
I scan the room, trying to pick
out those who won’t forage
my mind for weakness, leaving me obsessed.
The thing is, I don’t understand my obsession.
This trap of black and white, where everything is concrete.
To identify my cravings, not to forage
through trash bags and freezers driven by hunger.
I wouldn’t spend my nights picking
apart my words, my scalp, my situation. Life could be simple.
But nothing is simple;
not when my stomach is churning and I’m obsessed
with subsiding it, and with picking
up candy bars and sliding them in my bra. I’m slammed into the cold concrete
by a cop who doesn’t understand that I’m just hungry.
He walks the street each night, a forager
of those who aren’t sure what forage
even means. I’m simple.
It’s easy, my hunger
for belonging causes an obsessive
search for a life that is simple.
Leaving my mind open to picking.
But, I didn’t pick
this. This life of foraging
meaning from the seemingly concrete.
The thoughts, while simple
fill my mind with noise, and red light. I’m obsessed
with a full belly, the terrifying unabating hunger.
Picking over the simple,
foraging through the obsessed
concrete thoughts defined by hunger.
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