Anamaria Guerzon

Anamaria Guerzon is a senior Theatre major and Communications minor from Maple Valley, WA. Besides poetry, she is also a playwright, and had her play Skin, about tattoos, identity, and race,workshopped at Tacoma Little Theatre last winter.

13 Ways of Looking at Paroxetine

A collection of pills
perfect white, pressed into perfect circles 
rattles inside a hazard-cone orange bottle.

The bottle screams
of doctor’s offices
and, if one listens closely enough,
a girl punching the same spot in her leg 
until it turns into the color of paint, 
when all the colors mix together into
a grey question mark.

When the bottle tips over
they tumble out as easy as
breath mints.
The pure white, like the whites of an 
stare back, with “ZC1B” pressed 
into their faces.

The letters and numbers 
are not for the taker
but an encoded message 
for third parties
in baby-blue elastic gloves.

They are bigger
then I want them to be. 
They are smaller
then they were.

I swallow one whole
and it floats like a paper sailboat 
on tap water, down my throat, 
I never have to taste it.

I swallow them so fast,
that I didn’t taste their worth,
ten times more than the $5.45 
a bottle I pay in my pajamas at Walgreens.

I got them because
my mother did before me 
and also because my mother had 
other, square white tablets that 
made her sleep so heavy
that she slept through a shift 
and got fired.

The round medicine 
sits on my eyelids 
weighing them down.

After being absorbed in the
acid pit of my stomach,
they disintegrate into fine particles, 
spreading through my blood and 
Attaching themselves to body fat.
50 pounds,
just add water,
pulling my body closer to
the earth’s center.

When they rattle in their bottle,
I hear the buzzing of worker bees, 
frantically creating serotonin.
As their Queen,
I open my mouth
and they fly willingly
down my throat,
depositing serotonin encased 
in honey,
and martyring themselves
in the harsh terrain of my body, 
slowly destroying the intruder.

When I’m perfectly quiet,
I can hear the buzzing of 
30mg a day of Paroxetine, 
at work from my stomach to 
my head.

Side effects may include:
Nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, trouble 
sleeping, loss of appetite, weakness, dry 
mouth, sweating, blurred vision...