i don’t know what to do with happiness By Haley Clapp

i don’t know what to do with happiness

i don’t know what to do with happiness.
when the blue bird replaces the anchor
on my shoulder i am suspicious of
lightness. my grey mouse-heart flutters,
my pepper eyes dart. i scurry the split
second between reeling forward or
back.

i schedule sadness in days    weeks     months
make a timetable & a ledger & a checklist &
when happiness finds me i throw up my
limbs in surrender to the authority
i face wide-eyed happiness
is a firing squad.

happiness explodes in me and blacks out
my eyes, obliterates me like the clean
wrath of God and before i think i’m
sputtering apologies confessing all
my glass-shatter sins to prevent the holy
light from fleeing cruel as lightening
striking bark/marking scars/
God i’m so afraid of white-hot light
you send that smites the anchor from
my back God i don’t know what it means
to stand up straight God i don’t know
what to do with happiness—

By Haley Clapp

Biography:

Haley Clapp is a recent Indiana University Bloomington graduate and fledgling queer poet who will be attending King’s College London in the fall for her MA in Critical Methodologies. She has served on the Editorial Board of various IU publications, including LABYRINTH and The Undergraduate Scholar. She loves sad songs and horror movies and hopes to end up somewhere in the world between literature/art and academia.

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