A Family History of Mental Illness
Depression dances before me,
a manic grey ghoul
his teeth crooked as the tombstones
of my uncle who shot himself
and the grandfather who died,
muttering, in prison-
and now this ghost has come for me.
He sews my lips shut with monofilament,
weaves his slimy fingers
through the ventricles of my sore heart,
pinches crackling neurons of my mind like a horse’s reins.
He scatters the grainy pills on the table
with a sly laugh. Thought you’d gotten rid of me,
didn’t you? Oh, but you never will.
With a flick of his bony wrist
he taps the floor beneath my feet
and it gives way. I dangle in the dark,
gaunt feet swaying and knocking,
like my uncle and all the ones who came before.