aubade for the BPD subreddit user who wrote can people with BPD love?

        bedtime ritual     summon a stranger     tonight you

linger on my laptop screen

                                          in the apartment hallway a door slams like a bird


                                           into glass     I will never know

                                        melts like snow

on a warm window

   I lift your words to my lips        my therapist says

       it is important to drink

                                                    when you feel empty

          my mother says it is important to always have more

              to give     my coach says a body is one third pain & two thirds effort

                                        one wall away      my roommate sleeps

                                                         as if she never existed


                                         for the neurotypical a relationship with a person who has BPD

                                                                 can have a few more compromises than average


you & me share nothing but the insecurities of an insomniac

                   seeking company on an internet forum

                                                                                                   I used to think I deserved

love     its addictive swagger

             on the tongue

                                                                      which part of you did you kill

                            so you could be loved?

                                                                                                                 does it get better?

between dreams    we measure our self-esteem

                                         in upvote ratios     when it finally arrives sleep

                                          smothers like a wet blanket

                                    I was born homesick in my own body                            does it


                                                                                                    get better?


                                                           you’ve memorized your own eulogy

               before you wake

                                                           your ghost delivers it to an empty room

Dive in
  1. This poem is an aubade: a song sung at dawn to greet the morning while grieving the end of night. An aubade is often about lovers parting ways. Why do you think this poem is an aubade?
  2. What do we know about the speaker of this poem?
  3. The setting of this poem is actually two places: the speaker's apartment and the internet. How do the real and virtual settings create a sense of connection?
  4. Most lines in this poem are not complete syntactical units but line endings where the syntax carries over to the next line. How does the lack of punctuation affect your reading of the poem?
  5. Try reading this poem without pausing. Next, read the poem through and take pauses. For each space take one breath before going on. If there are several spaces, take several breaths. Which way do you prefer? Is there a way to meld the two ways of reading?
  6. Aubades are poems about welcoming beginnings while also lamenting an ending. Write an aubade about something unexpected, bracketed, between your desire for a new day and sadness over a night ending.

Useful Links

Mayo clinic's information on BPD

Jody Chan's website

Aubade, the form


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Bibliographical info

Jody Chan, "aubade for the BPD subreddit user who wrote can people with BPD love?" from Sick. Copyright © 2020 by Jody Chan. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: Sick (Black Lawrence Press, 2020)

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