IF CRAZY IS A DESTINATION, YOU ARE MY DRIVER
As you begin your mad descent,
I am the baggage you wheel
down the dark, steep corridor.
When the first pills unsettle you,
I am porcelain
you heave yourself into. If your car keys
offend you, I am the sanitizer’s dispenser,
depressed again and again.
When your siblings’ voices land, lit matches
in your tinderbox, I am the slammed door
locked against you.
Pound my hard surface, rattle my knobs
till I chatter. If you bleach all our laundry,
I wear the blanched faces
of the fabric. When you are hungry, mine
is the pantry you empty, food you spear
from across the table.
If you grow lonely, I am the back
you follow all winter. When the days’ harsh
machinery agitates you,
I am the chair you knock over, sunflower
you rip from the garden. When tears
overtake you, I am the rag
you snot into. If the house is too quiet,
I am your breath of vowels, your nonsense
repetitions. O, sing me
the Prozac, render each bright milligram.
Francesca Bell’s poems appear or are forthcoming in many journals including Poetry Northwest, Willow Springs, North American Review, RATTLE, 5 AM, Passages North, and The Sun and have been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. Her full-length manuscript was a finalist in the Poetry Foundation’s 2012 Emily Dickinson First Book competition and a semi-finalist for the 2012 Philip Levine Prize.