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There Were Others

I have to be honest with you: there were others.

& some of them were good. Before you gilded my hippocampus

I lay in bed with fireworks: antipsychotics, their distant cousins,

Risperdal, Abilify, all the dizziest bees.

When the SSRIs asked me to dance, I danced, heavier than I’ve ever been,

a weeping clockwork, but at least in motion.

Some even pinched a smile from me. I know you want to know:

Were they better Did I love them Would I ever go back Who was she.

But if you could see what they gave me: years.

From the bottom of the lake they scraped my literacy for breathing.

Or: my mother & I, side by side on a king-size bed, reading

while they ambled & flit through my thick helplessness.

I read books. I cooked meals. Forgive me.

from Odes to LithiumFind more by Shira Erlichman at the library

Copyright © 2019 Shira Erlichman
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Poems Shira Erlichman

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.