Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

Tag Archive for ‘Mental Health’

Counting Bodies

For Nicole     I felt like I was in the morgue, counting bodies when I heard the doctors say, “Poor thing, she’s in a coma.” I had been doing aerial spins, loops, dives over and around my hospital bed. Hara-kiri didn’t work. I’d tried to swing on a butcher’s hook. And before that I lay down in a frosty white gown in a funeral home anticipating embalmment. No luck. […]

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My Uncle’s TV

was left on our doorstep a month after his funeral with a note taped to the back: He wanted you to have this– the TV that is now centered on an antique dresser in our living room. And no matter what channel we watch, the only thing I see is his reflection in the screen the morning he killed himself. Sitting in his recliner. His tarnished horseshoe trophies surrounding him. […]

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Kierkegaard’s ghost

He left her, you know – though he loved her from the first and loved her still, he said he wasn’t fit for marriage. He tried to explain, console her. She married another.   That was centuries before us, but because of you I wonder: how did Regine get through it? Maybe the adrenalin rushed through her chest each time her lover’s words reached out for the unnamed world to […]

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You were the footnote to afternoons in high summer and I thought of you as a limp breeze bumped sponges of air through the window screen, coating my skin with heat. You were the asterisk to my youth (*deceased), whispered asides, never direct conversations (*they’re too young to understand). I wrote you a letter on an old computer in DOS, as if eight years hadn’t passed since we sat in […]

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Spread-winged skipper

The inky butterfly across her neck balloons and wavers with her confession: bipolar, she drove her partner through a bedroom wall while her son, three, trembled under covers. We share a lust for opiates. She drools over Percopops (a fond nickname for gnawing on Fentanyl patches), and I’m more of a hydromorphone fiend. I save her any chicken the hospital inevitably places on my vegetarian meal trays. We split graham […]

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Conditions prevail

The boy’s head swings from his neck, a cattail quivering under air’s humid gaze. On suicide precautions, he sleeps in the lobby. A bed like mine, but on display. I wonder how the boy said, I want to die. Every day, I wake at six, watch the news. Watch him sleep. Dark tufts of hair peek out of a cotton tomb. One morning, I crawl into bed with the boy. […]

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Hospital hours stretch in and out of each other I never locate a clock  a calendar I trick myself constantly  for instance I shower then spend two hours trapped in the bathroom  it is a formicarium and I am a pharaoh ant swathed in spider-web clawing my attenuated legs till blood is delivered with afterbirth twinges of pain (this can’t be right) the doorknob will not turn  so I quiver […]

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Learned Happiness

Two years of reteaching my serotonin synapses: fire now, do not let the neurons reabsorb you just yet. I fed them balanced meals, ninety milligrams every night until I had enough chemicals in my head to reteach myself how to smile and mean it.   When my doctor told me I could stop taking the pills, it was like my father letting go of my bike — no more training […]

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