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
and then abandons her to curiosity,
disappearing his limbs until there is
only a puzzling, catenary grin.
You’re not focused so much as you’re
inclined to be focused, catecholamine
receptors flooded with a stimulant
masquerading as epinephrine and dopamine.
Euphoria is the absence of distraction,
the state of readiness, and readiness 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
they doubled his dose from fifteen to thirty.
I know before she tells me because he took
the bottle out of his jacket halfway
into his spelling list, pondering the lid
as if he had no idea how it got there.
He stares at the floral decal over my back
and laughs 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
that is both defiant and obedient,
at first aloud, then later quietly.
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.
This isn’t the same thing as saying
neither of us enjoys learning.
There’s no greater pleasure in the world
than learning about it. I learned this.
Hopefully he will too, if he can learn
to think through the drugs that have
stranded his mind in Wonderland.
When I tell him what a spyglass is,
and draw my invisible telescope 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.