Ode to Lithium #-18: Postscript to Mania

Shira Erlichman

It’s not easy dying every second
for the sake of some mission.
What-the-Fuck-ologist, leading me
by the softest whim toward the blade.
Chickenwire undulated behind my lids
& the sky looked beat to death.
I’ve been going through my files. Who
was that? At what precise moment
did my brain tattle on itself? Everything
was a wick. Even God was worn down
by my false sirening. It’s not easy dying
without dying. Before I ever took the pills
I took so much. So much was taken. I’m
done. I’m here. A fish thrown back
to the river can’t help but swallow fistfuls
of self.

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