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August 31, 2022


T.C. Anderson

“Speak to your medical provider.”

But they don’t wear the skin I’m in.

They think me an onion,

a few words peeling back layers,

slapping bandages on symptoms

without any real answers.

They never reach the core.

They wouldn’t make money if they did.

“Talk to your doctor.”

One pill will give me smiles and


or so the commercials say,

but they’re really telling you to

medicate every little flaw into

a numbing oblivion with pills for

every itch, like

you’re an ATM machine.

“Consult with your doctor before using.”

Because I can’t make decisions on my own,

every tablet is a dive into fear,

every conscious question dismissed

for hypochondria and “too much WebMD.”

But they don’t wear the skin I’m in.

They wouldn’t make money if they did.

You’re an ATM machine:

consult with your doctor before using.

T.C. Anderson is a Houston-based writer and artist with work published and forthcoming in Venus Rising: Lessons & Lore from Modern WomenPages Penned in Pandemic: A CollectiveCapsule Stories, and more. Her short story, "Letter to the Boy at the Grocery Store," was the winner of Poetic Reveries's Christmas Short Story Competition in 2021. Her poetry collection, The Forest, published in 2021, serves as the inspirational basis of an art installation with artist Mari Omori premiering in 2022. Her artistic and collaborative work has been shown in several Houston-area art galleries, as well as online and internationally. A graphic design professional, Anderson holds a B.A. in Graphic Design & Media Arts from Southern New Hampshire University.

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