VA Appointment by Matthew Borczon

my hips
have a
cyst where
the bones
rub together
and my
neck can’t
turn left
without pain
they offer
for comfort
my psych
doctor wants
me back
on Celexa
my therapist
can’t imagine
me improving
without it
it’s a
short fix
to a
with no

but no
has ever
made the
ghost soldiers
stand down
never found
the missing
body parts
never saved
the child
never fixed
the broken
friendships or
the night
terror helicopter
panic attacks
that leave
me running
out into
the street
at 3 am
the paranoid
screaming at
the people
who still
manage to
love me

and for
them I
wish it
would work
I would
them like
candy or
lovers lies
all of them
until I
was whole
but so far
meds have
nothing no
dream or
no outburst
or river
of tears
no anger
fueled accusation
no nights
spent sweating
and crying
into stained
nothing changes
but my
ability to
care about
it or
and that
numb emptiness

is exactly
what first
me here
after the


Matthew Borczon is a nurse and navy sailor who served in Camp Bastion in Afghanistan in 2010-11. He writes about war and life with PTSD. He has been widely published in the small press including pieces in Dead Snakes, In Between Hangovers, Rasputin, Anti Heroin Chic, The Yellow Chair Review, Revolution John, Dissident Voice as well as many others. His Book A Clock of Human Bones won the Yellow Chair Reviews Chap Book Contest in 2015.


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