Friday, June 04, 2010

two a.m. poem for friday afternoon

This morning Nicole texted me, “I was thinking I should have offered you a Xanax the other night. That always helps me when I spin out like that.”

(I have been spinning out. Not because anything really bad is going on, it’s just something I do now and then, like changing my oil, except less constructive. AK has assigned me to read The Happiness Project blog, and I’ve concluded that I am its uptight heroine. Gretchen is so like me that reading her sincere, endlessly hardworking posts can be almost as exhausting as being in my own head. I mean, all the things she tells herself are things I should tell myself too, so I’ll keep reading. But sometimes I want to explore other means of chilling out beyond working very, very hard to chill out. Hence….)

Me: “I’m afraid it would begin a lifelong love affair with Xanax.”

Nicole: “Nah, it wouldn’t because you’d always feel guilty to take it.”

Me: “You know me well.”

Here’s poet David Hernandez’s take on pharmaceuticals for the anxiety-prone:

Two A.M.

Hello full moon. Tonight you’re a cracked
dinner plate behind the tree’s spiked branches

Nice to meet you Mr. Panic, and the bowstring
you drag across my nerves. Greetings dark hallway,

bulb-lit bathroom, mirror above the sink
wearing my ruined face. Medicine cabinet,

it’s nice to hear you squeak open again,
and the tiny pills rattling in this bottle of Atavan.

I plant one under my tongue and wait
for sedation to lower its warm, green blanket.

There. Now it’s time to say goodbye to the moon.
Now the terrors that kept me awake embark:

the lump I found, my wife’s test results,
a nephew’s eyes slowly rolling towards glaucoma,

and so on—a whole fleet gliding off
into the black waters of the evening.


Anonymous said...

You are wonderful.

Cheryl said...

Aw, thanks. Even though I'm not sure who you are, I'm pretty sure you're wonderful too.

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