“Cotard’s Syndrome,” by Sara Michas-Martin


Cotard’s Syndrome

“Jeanie was well oriented for time, place and person…
as for being dead or alive, she was all at sea.”
                                                      — Paul Broks, Neuropsychologist

I was sitting in a usual chair, my lips
dry as dust
            I was aware of my tongue,
limp between my teeth
I swallowed water
felt it slosh inside my chest like a hose
dumped over a bucket of nothing           
My organs sagged out of place, 
the rest of me
                        on the ghost feed
In time
my mouth closed into a scar
and soon I didn’t have a face
to speak out of 
                        my limbs
a halo of shadows
orbiting my voice
I sense death waiting: a driver
with a sign at the airport
I’m inside the terminal
somewhere counting backwards
            I am basically air                           
I flush through rooms like a draft
made by someone else
opening and closing a door


Sara Michas-Martin

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →