The Pathophysiology of Schizophrenic Shrapnel

poetry

He asked the patient how he was feeling:
The patient said that the picture on the wall
Had a headache.
He asked how it had a headache
The patient explained that when a sperm and an egg meet,
There is an explosion of proteins and genetic material:
Nuclear fusion, but human fusion.

A genetic explosion—
Schizophrenic shrapnel from the father’s side.
Something went wrong.
Or maybe something went right.

The child emerged healthy,
Greeting the world wailing,
In a fit of tears
As we all do.

Schizophrenic shrapnel,
Once embedded, takes time to grow
And develop through
Isolated doses of objective reality–
Virus-like, reality serves as its host
Feeding it, the necessary input
For the eventual hostile takeover.

But this is only shrapnel.
The child wasn’t blown to pieces;
Its body will wrap it in scar tissue,
Preserve it for a while
Until it is dissolved.
Rusted away on the banks
Of bloodstreams.

The process doesn’t come without any complications
Of course.
The shrapnel glows at night,
A sickly green orb beneath the skin.

Remember those glow-worm dolls?

It can go on that way for many years
A decades-old beacon
Lurid
Lurid
Green

No serious complications develop
As long as the patient never looks at it.
Ignore the green glow
Suffocate it under the blankets at night.
Eventually they get used to it,
Sleeping with a constant
Palid-green radiance.
Eventually its light won’t keep them awake.

Take all necessary precautions
Should the patient glimpse the glow:
Breathing exercises,
All the coping skills they’ve learned
From the years of inevitable therapy.
Hide sharp objects
All sharp objects.
And most objects.
Those who suffer from schizophrenic shrapnel
Are crafty creatures.

It should be noted,
However,
That the mysterious glow
Is known to produce
Lucid fantasy
Worlds have been born within it.
A heightened intuitive sense
Typically paranoid,
Or wildly insightful
In roughly twenty percent
Of cases.

Therefore,
It is recommended
That patients be supervised and given
A notebook
And a pen
To write through their hallucinations
For the duration of their psychosis.

We use the term “snapshot-psychosis”
In cases of schizophrenic shrapnel
For the episodes are fleeting in nature.
Usually triggered by
A low-grade glimpse of green.

The episode will be over
In nanoseconds,
But the patient might be left
Rambling.
A brief apashia
Coprolalia
Or
Anacoluthon.

That is how the picture has a headache.

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