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March 27, 2020 Poetry

Bipolar Type II

Geramee Hensley

Bipolar Type II photo


Depression, like any beast, digests
only what is edible. 

To make your joy indigestible,
follow closely these steps:

Learn your enemy—in your mouth, melt
its pearled name until it enamels, sugar

silked between the gums. Even in a mouth’s
dark, I brighten. My sadness a whetstone

to the blade of my joy. How many ligaments 
in an ankle must you count before stumble 

becomes a toppled animal? To slice too far
stimulates glands buried in its talus, jewels

ripened by their own secret. To kill
sadness too well doubles its size.

As many pains as species,
when two pains sniff each other,

rapt in clover and singed breath, they'll love
a new kind of pain into you. The most heavenly

creatures have no names, scurry as blurs
across an entire moment of your face—

all at once: whiplash, throwing
you into the future and past.

 

image: Dorothy Chan


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