Anesthesia Blue Ribbon Queen

 Photo by  JOSHUA COLEMAN    [Image Description: A close up of a pile of multi-colored tablets and capsules, ranging from bright pink, yellow and green, to sky blue.]

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN

[Image Description: A close up of a pile of multi-colored tablets and capsules, ranging from bright pink, yellow and green, to sky blue.]

Cutting me open seven times, this chronic

illness ribbons me to slivers all the time.

Herbalists nod, self-assured: Chronic,

you need good chronic – works every time.

My pills & herbs & self-medications fill a mass grave.

Tinctures held under my tongue. A burning prayer.

Sink drain decay – pregnant with moths, worms – a grave.

Kombu, dulse, estradiol, lacinato – a murmured feeble prayer.

Anesthesia blue ribbon queen! Go ahead, put me under.

How bright! My teeth click like cogs, a smile.

My nails make moons – don’t peel it back don’t see what's under

the skin. I Miss America my joy until it burns to smile.

Shocked into loneliness with disease carved through dawn.

With anchor, identity, and impediment – gone.


Nikita Andester is a camper-dwelling writer with a master’s from the University of Denver in creative nonfiction. With a focus on endometriosis and queerness, she explores identity and vulnerability through fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her other work can be found in Wild Musette Journal of Music, Mystery, and Myth.