September 12, 2003
Barcode Girl is Dead.
I can only imagine your agony – envisioning
the filth of another in and on my flesh.
I can feel through the sky
and walls and into my breast
how your pain turned to rage.
But did it turn to revenge?
Barcode Girl stood up at breakfast – without a word
and started to run.
She ran through the large glass doors that remain
for those of us in Group, and ran down the hall.
I followed her through the door – I watched her
until she turned the corner toward the stairwell.
She lowered her head and
dove from the top step with purpose and
On the landing of the staircase that separates us
from the world – her skull
hit with the sound of a stack of books
in an empty library.
She crumpled in on herself.
I could see in my mind – the faded green lines and
numbers under her hair, wrinkling like a soiled bed
sheet tossed away.
She fractured her own skull and broke her neck, and
the intern that rolled her onto her back apparently
made matters worse.
She died 17 minutes later – surrounded by
people who didn’t know her favorite song
or if she liked to dance when she was alone
or if she believed in god.
I would never assume you’d be so wicked –
truthfully, perhaps presumptuously,
I assume that you’ve already forgiven me,
because that’s the nature of your love, our love,
but I couldn’t feel better unless I told you –
of you, furiously sobbing
and reciting incantations,
had crossed my mind.
But I know you, my love – I know you
better than that, and now,
more than ever, I know
that I must find the answers.
This selection comes from the poetry collection, Letters To My Lover From Behind Asylum Walls, available from Cosmographia Books. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.
Robin’s work has been published in various magazines and journals, including Across the Margin, Shot Glass Journal, Red Bird Chapbooks, The Cerurove, Yes Poetry, and Pidgeonholes.