Thursday 5 November 2015

2 Poems by Colin Chao

The Fool

They come at you with
Saccharine apologies,
Serotonin supplements,
Scientifically accurate
Formulas that promise to
Make the
Pain go

You try to play the fool.

There was never a point in
Contesting them because they
Wouldn’t look at you unless you
Had a smile pasted on your face, they
Wouldn’t let you speak until you finished their
Concoction of chemical condolences, until they
Saw that you really had
Licked the

They know you fool no one.

You stopped showing them where it
Hurt because you weren’t really sure what part of
Your body you should have pointed out first without
Adding hypochondriasis to your list of words that
They said, described you perfectly, as if
Knowing exactly how to incant the names of the
Monsters in your head would be all the magic you
To slay

So you stop being the fool.

They say they will always be there for you when the
Monsters come, but how can they dare to speak of
Fighting by your side, when you are the
Only one who can see the horrors that surround you—
You have always been the
Only one who’s been fighting this battle—
This battle that will never end unless you
Cast off your armor and

They say you’re only fooling yourself.

You think they have broken their promises when
They in fact have been by your side at every single
Moment, trying to help you fight. They can’t see your
Monsters but they can see the shell that you
Reluctantly force your broken body into, and in their
Obsession to protect you they make your steel plates even
Tighter and smaller until it kills you just to breathe, but
At least, this way, the monsters will

And you’ll always be the fool.  


You don't have to
Bother asking if
I'm coming home tonight.

I cared enough
To call you months in
Advance, don't mistake
My dial tone messages as
A sign that I wanted
To be alone.

You don't have to
Bother asking if
I'm missing you tonight.

I cared enough
To stay a little longer,
I even waited until you
Fell asleep, so you wouldn't
Hear the sound of the door
Closing behind me.

You don't have to
Bother asking if
I'm feeling sick tonight.

I cared enough
To finish my serving of
Pills, and when the beast
Within me hungered, I dutifully
Followed the doctor's orders and
Swallowed another handful.

You don't have to
Bother asking if
I'm leaving you tonight.

I cared enough
To show you my trail,
How it was always too
Narrow for us both to
Travel, and yet
You still bothered

Guess what?

You shouldn't have bothered

Don't you dare say you didn't

Don't you dare say you couldn't

Don't you dare
Worry if
I'm coming home tonight

I always have.




Colin Chao was born with absurdly high levels of choler in their veins—or so their doctor said. However, Chao does not trust any doctors because doctors make too much money, and money is the root of a particularly revolting kind of evil. Since 2011, they have refused to seek scientifically recognized forms of treatment; they consider poetry to be the best form of therapy there is. You can view the results of Chao's regularly irregular sessions at

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