Nuts & Bolts

By Josie Thornhill

I don’t feel it hit me,

not like Klonopin or Seroquel,

remedies band-aids unavailable to me now.


“Well how do I fix it?” I’d asked.

“Long term therapy…”

Dear, I wanted to tap my wrist,

I have been in therapy for ten years.

“Something in your subconscious, likely,”

she continued, “that you need to deal with.”

I almost smirked, spinning the wheel of misfortune:


Tell me, which one?


I wear my traumas like a badge

for every curious psychologist.

What do I get? What have I earned? A life.

We all have our badges, so why can’t I carry mine?

Why are my limbs falling off like the arms of a mannequin?

My rusted nuts and bolts rolling down the hallways of your local mall,

the one that won’t employ me or acknowledge my disability.


The T.V. is roaring its red mouth again

about the world ending, “Stay home!”

Where else can I go? I have been isolated for years,

my attempts to join real life unsuccessful. What is it now:

Nine? Ten part-time jobs that lasted less than six months?

I wake up alone. I open the mail in silence:

1) denial for disability 2) notification of lapse in health care coverage


I open the green capsule of Kratom, the bitter powder coating the top of the water.

“We don’t recommend taking that. It’s not FDA approved,” she said.

Well, I am my own doctor now.


Josie Thornhill (she/her) is a writer & bookseller from Atlanta, Georgia. You can find her work at Dark Marrow, Voices of Mental Health, The Mighty, and Writers With Mental Illness. Follow her on InstagramTwitter, and WordPress.

This poem is a part of the DISTANCED project.