Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

Tag Archive for ‘Mental Health’

Church Visits

Your drawl rich as poppies We brought you this poinsettia— would you like it in your room? introduces you and your children to my mom who smiles as she tries to remember if she knows you, dementia shredding whole stands of friends each night.   Where would you like me to put it? No directive in your mist of questions, knowing Alzheimer’s has already clear-cut her choices. Then you sit […]

Continue Reading →


I want you in my home so I know you’re not alone in the shadows of those long halls paced by the lost— dementia scouring their last stains of memory   more than safe I want you to feel safe yet I’m drowning in this deep dank sog of lung   rain waterfalls from every leaf under a canopy-darkened sky as distant shouts urge me to find my way back […]

Continue Reading →


On the way to the cemetery, late summer gravel road, fine covering of dust layers chicory, Queen Anne’s lace. We search for angels sent to graves too soon. Clamber up smooth granite tombstones in the shade of old oaks saluting the Underhills, Ackleys, Shumways. The grass under our feet is dry, reserved.   We try not to yell as we cannon ball off headstones, rising out of the quiet, rectangular […]

Continue Reading →


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, […]

Continue Reading →

Tiny Deaths

The dog knew first. She would sleep by the spot for hours on end.   After a few days, we would start to smell it, too. A sickly sweet musk.   Thick. Unrelenting. My mother quickly learned that air freshener   only made it worse. We all lost weight that summer except for   my sister, who stopped eating at home the day she got her license.   She doesn’t […]

Continue Reading →

How to Hide

for J.P. Get out of bed and find the good scissors. The yellow ones. Go out to the porch. Take down all of the wind- chimes. Dismember them. Go back inside. Open the closets. Bring out all the jackets and shoes. Tie up every lace and string until there are only perfect bows. Put it all away and pry open the pendulum clock. Remove the weights. They’ll make good bookends. […]

Continue Reading →

I cut myself

Often. The bloodslice like thin lips parted in prayer. The supplication in the rise of blood. Pink at first, feeding quickly on oxygen to implausible scarlet. Beautiful as the dark wine we take for Communion. Holy as Christ’s own blood blessed in the chalice and sipped for our sins. Forgive/me/Father/forgive/me/for I have sinned. And my blood soft and warm sealing the wound slowly, slowly. Some dripping into the porcelain-white sink, […]

Continue Reading →

Horse Dress, 1939

She wore the horse she’d crocheted out of scraps of bright wool. No pattern. Needlework so exquisite the horse’s eyes fit perfectly at her nipples, as if she were looking for someone to cup her and comfort her during her paces around corridors, in circles, bound by fences, walls, lanes to stay in, tail trailing like an extension of her coccyx. Snout and nostrils covered her groin craving a carrot, […]

Continue Reading →

The Roof

Sitting on the roof where the tree hangs low, with my head in the leaves, waiting for the psilocybin to kick in, and when it does, the leaves are no longer leaves but a thousand hands instead, made of the most simple shade of green I’ve ever seen, exactly in the middle of what all green could potentially be, and there’re thousands of these hands all waving and loving me, […]

Continue Reading →