51-50, Jason Arment

51-50
by Jason Arment

An old man
in his late seventies
sits outside of Mental Health
& laments recent troubles

“It just hasn’t been my month
I can't remember anything—
lose stuff & miss appointments.
There are eight bottles of oxygen

under my bed!”
I didn’t think for a second
they were the only bottles
or that his poor wife was deserving

anything short of sainthood
“I was cleaning my .45
when I accidentally sent
a round through the headboard

‘You put that away!’ she hollered.” A classic
51-50, self-check-in to Hotel California
“But I’d never hurt myself,
or anyone else.”

He wasn’t turning in plans
to slaughter people at DIA
James Holmes style
even so, I wouldn’t have let him walk

Maybe a long inpatient stay
& the loss of firearms
keep his meds regular
so he couldn’t forget

Staff walked him out to his truck
to pet the dog he hadn’t shut up about
since I saw him sitting there, in the waiting room,
shame & guilt on his face
Profile photo of barkingsycamores
About barkingsycamores 183 Articles
Barking Sycamores is a literary journal entirely edited and operated by queer neurodivergent people of color. We publish poetry, artwork, short fiction (beginning with Issue 3), creative nonfiction (beginning with Issue 8), and hybrid genre work (beginning with Issue 9) by emerging and established neurodivergent writers as well as essays on neurodiversity and literature and book reviews (beginning with Issue 10).

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*