Yawning is a symptom of adderall,

a strange side effect for a stimulant

but then so is staring at a wall

in thoughts just always out of reach

that lure one playfully into thinking

the way the Cheshire Cat entreats Alice

abandoning her to curiosity, disappearing

his limbs until all that remains

is a floating, catenary grin.

You’re not focused so much

as you’re inclined to be focused,

your catecholamine receptors flooded

with something masquerading as epinephrine

and dopamine. Euphoria is the absence

of distraction, the readiness that is all.

But being unaccustomed to happiness,

or overdoing it, one forgoes thinking

for feeling itself, and stares at a wall.

His mother tells me after our session ends

they doubled his dose from fifteen to thirty.

But I already knew that once he took out

the bottle halfway through his spelling list

pondering the lid like a valuable artefact

laughing at some invisible non sequitur.

At his age I’d seen two speech therapists

and sat at the same sort of table, wearing

the same bowl cut and sense of injustice

sometimes in action, always in thought.

But two hours is more than I can bear,

wading through worksheet after worksheet.

He doesn’t care what a pronoun is, and I don’t care.

Which isn’t the same thing as saying

neither of us likes a little learning.

There’s no greater pleasure in the world

than learning about it. I learned this too.

Hopefully he will, if he can think through

his mind stranded in Wonderland.

But when I tell him what a spyglass is,

stretching it out in my hands like a pirate,

we’re suddenly performing Peter Pan.

His eyes ungloss with fugitive black flags.

A half hour later the feeling fades.

Page eleven is the same as page ten.

His yawn inflates my own unsatisfying yawn,

a gasp that never inhales enough oxygen,

another symptom of the adderall.

You can’t find the end of a yawn or a thought.


R. Charboneau

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