Sanjana Rajagopal

Hypnagogia

Content Warning: Mentions of Suicide, Anti-Depressant Use.

I collect the mini hotel notepads in Munich-you know the ones-
hoping to covet the most debauched of hearts
with a letter written by and by
on snatches of paper & time between cities & rivers.

My psychiatrist practiced by the World Trade Center
and before I left for Germany, he asked if I would kill myself
while on vacation. I found the question absurd-
suicide feels more foreign a concept than ever when I'm
abroad and away from all the things that make me
a risk to myself.

I only ever want to die when I look in the mirror and see a loser,
when I listen to a Paramore song

When I recall
harsh words exchanged over phone calls,
deceptively tender moments,
retracted sparks on a frigid bridge.

[ The psychiatrist, hearing my meekly rehearsed speech,
prescribed an SSRI

-as if that would solve my Stockholm Syndrome adoration
for a man who backed me into a corner
and then decided he'd had enough of me
enough religious transgression
to whet his insatiable appetite

-as if that would solve my desperate attempts
to read impossible love into lust

-as if that would stop me from neurotically scribbling
that damned romantic letter on trains headed nowhere

-as if that would solve the later addition of another woman
to the toxically dreadful equation of our entanglement]

When I return to
my studio apartment in the States,
a specialty cocktail of jet lag and Lexapro
have me dancing on the thin line
separating seductive sunrise and reality.

From my fire escape,
I watch the movement of the minute hand
color the sky blush pink.
When the Event
is over, I climb back into my twin bed
and draw my black Banana Republic coat
with the big buttons and torn pockets
over me, and almost fall over the rim

But something within me is holding on tight,
as tigers and titanic waves
try and swallow me whole-

and no matter how hypnotic and despotic the situation grows-
I will not let go of my death grip on life.

ABOUT THE POET

Sanjana Rajagopal is a graduate student studying philosophy in New York City. Her poems have appeared in Perhappened Mag, L'ephemere Review and Fordham University's Journal of Comparative Literature, Bricolage. You can find her on Twitter @SanjanaWrites, and on Instagram @astrangecharm.