Van Gogh looked into the night
inside the insane asylum.
He painted away that
young boy who bullied him
for being, “crazy,”
the townspeople for calling him a
“madman,”
and the view of France
onto a blank canvas,
all while his ear was taped
and the nurses administered
the pills.

He still painted the sky.

When the nightmares greeted me
like an old friend
or the toxic lover
who refused to leave,
I wrote this poem.

I wrote this poem
while sobbing for that
small child
I didn’t know
but felt for all the same.
I didn’t know you would
call me “a spaz”
for aching for a figment
inside a dream,
but you did.
I didn’t know I’d have to tape my own
ear, because no one wants to go
near a possibly unstable human.
I didn’t know I’d have to administer my own
pills, because no one likes
a spaz.

But I can paint my own sky.