Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.


Virginia walks into the river with stones
in her pockets. Smooth river stones,
small enough for hands.

I drive to the ocean with nothing
in my pockets. No name, no wallet,
no place to put my hands.

She knows the river
and she knows why she is there.

I am somewhere along the Pacific,
a cliff, a highway. Why am I here?

Fatigue, that’s all it is. Enough.
She wrote, I can’t fight any longer,
then stepped out the door.

At the payphone by the side
of the highway, I dial 0, ask
for the crisis line.

She is walking through the water now, ankle
deep. Then higher. The river swirls
around the hemline of her coat.

Hello? May I help you?
I crouch under the phone, ocean salt on
my cheeks. I want to die.

The eddies grow stronger, colder,
as she forges forward, hands still
wrapped around the stones.

Have you thought of going on a walk?
Or maybe a nice bubble bath?

I drop the phone, let it dangle.
Michelle WingMichelle Wing is a writer of poetry and creative nonfiction who lives in Northern Sonoma County, California. She is the author of Body on the Wall (poems), and co-editor of Cry of the Nightbird: Writers Against Domestic Violence, due for release in October 2014. She is aided in all her endeavors by her faithful service dog, Ripley.

Categories: Mental Health, Poetry, Themed

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1 reply

  1. Michelle Wing’s poetry flies to the center. Always.

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