Mania: a poem in five cantos
by BRIDGET ROBBEN
On November 11th, everything turned copper and she came back.
I dyed my hair black and took pictures of myself
naked for the Internet,
and wondered why I ever thought I was okay.
My chest is filled to the brim with recklessness, carelessness, destruction.
I want to scream
anger bubbles out of everything that I do, and say.
I feel so alone and isolated that all I can bring myself to do
is isolate myself
from everyone that ever cared about me.
Everything is copper and soon it will be red.
Today, everything turned to brown rot and she is still here.
no longer hovering over my body
like squatting over a dirty toilet seat
this is all hers now.
I am like water
I become the shape of my container,
completely at the mercy of my environment.
Everything is brown rot, stretching upwards
slimy spiny hands smothering me.
When you turn it upside down, it’s basically the same.
Today is December 26th, everything is white winter
and she is not going anywhere.
I don’t want her to.
Without her I feel every single feeling
fully experience every blow
I’d rather be numb and racing through the trees, bare,
letting every single branch
whack, whack, whack.
White winter is still upon me and so is she.
Last night I awoke from a comfortable sleep because she
would rather stare into nothingness for a while
and then segue into planning our entire future in one night.
When sleep came, it was a delirious writhing type of sleep.
open, shut; open, shut.
TV on, no rest.
There are things in the corner of my eyes,
they are black and red and white
and I’m not sure if they are there to help or to remind me of her.
Everything is still white winter and she is still inside my bones,
my white, winter bones.
It is already January.
Today is Valentine’s day,
I have skipped another day of classes, and
I think she finally is leaving.
Ripping the seams where she and I
were sewn together
Slowly sitting up,
And leaving me.
I don’t want her to leave.
I want to stay this way,
numbly speeding through this year,
speeding through my life.
Nothing can touch her,
and so nothing will touch me.
When she’s gone
when my insides are red with blood from her departure,
from the tiny threads ripping
When she’s gone,
people will start leaving one
and it will be me and my bed