Jennifer Sternitzky

Diagnosis: 285.10


I look at your face and all I see is sin





They say I can’t work anymore

They say I’m disrupting the class

Mother tells them I’m just stressed out

Grandma says we should have seen it coming

Uncle Bobby had it too

She blames herself


But the eyes knows nose

The ears knows no’s

We’re all in disguise

In visible

You can’t see me can’t see me can’t

you see that God is in me in that car

over there can’t get me over the rainbow


Sometimes I think it’s nice in here

Shut up— Don’t talk like that

Mother doesn’t like it

Mother doesn’t like me anymore

She doesn’t like when I listen

Listen to the rain rain raindrops

All the sky’s tears are coming down

And Mother Earth’s hands catch ‘em

hold’em Texas Hold ‘em

Isn’t it nice?

In Mother’s hands


Grandma wants to eat me up

I’m a person and she wants to eat a person

She wants to eat up my babies

She’s poison. Then she coughed on my food.


No pain no gain

Use Gain for all your laundering purposes

They say I haven’t washed my clothes

Need to wash my brain out

Been in this chair for days

and days staring into the faces in the walls

It’s so loud. I wish they’d all stop yelling

and the lights are too bright I can hear them

What is that noise? Stop staring at me


texas hold me mother


Mother tells them I just need a rest


Tiny magic time capsule

with little heads inside

They say it’ll make me better

better better ingredients better pizza

better better butter


Down the hatch hatch hatch

goes the time machine

I can hear them crying

drowning in there

It’s better to sleep


I wake up in a room and

it’s too quiet now

No one to talk to tell me stories

No one none


They say I can work again

They say I’m no longer a danger

They don’t say anything anymore


But I still see

Jen is 31 and lives in Green Bay, WI with her two cats. She has degrees in English and Psychology, and works at a halfway house for women in Appleton, WI. She has been writing poetry and short stories for as long as she can remember, recently working more on poetry than the latter.