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Queen's Quarterly
Queen's Quarterly

In the Neighborhood of Sickness and Love

Alex David

Winter 2021 - In the Neighborhood of Sickness and Love


     The Porch Potato lives in my neighborhood. He has white hair, a bent spine, and a clean-shaven face. He sits on his covered porch and drinks Heinekens. Near his front door is a sign that says “Porch Potato. Population: 1.” In a city of porch potatoes, he appears to be the only resident.
     When I was between 18 and 27 years of age, I kept having to leave college or my jobs to stay in a hospital. After I left these hospitals, I never talked about being sick. I was handed a paper with a diagnosis, Bipolar Disorder II, and I folded it in half, stuck it in my pocket.
     One time I was in a grocery store and a nurse, who had seen me naked, saw me. She put her arms around her children, guarding them from me. As if I were dangerous. As if sickness is something to be feared. 


Alexis David is a poet, fiction writer, and a teaching artist at Just Buffalo Literary Center. She has published the chapbook Animals I Have Loved (Dancing Girl Press) and a middle grade series of hi-low books (Rosen Press). Her short stories, poems, and reviews have appeared in numerous periodicals and in My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry (BlazeVOX, 2017).