WHEN THEY TRY TO CUT THE MANIC OUT OF ME
THEY REALIZE THAT I AM AN ALWAYS BURNING FIRE
we have seven facial openings/ six coupled/ and then also/ the mouth/
my favorite cave/ my mouth that makes me/ hysterical woman/ open jaw/
manic mouth for the moonlight/ bipolar and bursting/ try to cure me/
with a trephine/ try to dream catch my own broken brain/ drill a burr hole/
and tell me that this is therapeutic/ as you wear my skull on your neck/
as garlic is to vampire/ drill again and again/ and realize that I am still mad/
bare chest screaming/ crying and cawing/ I can’t seem to fit all of this despair/
back into my own mouth/ can’t stop reciting Dante’s Inferno/ can’t hold my breath/
like I used to/ my bipolar is an invisible sun/ can never see when it is about to burn/
scorch this place to black/ blister all of my stupid open pockets/ and no amount/
of drilling/ can shut my jaw/ no amount of skull holes/ will make me holy/
can’t unclench these knuckles/ can’t burn me/ if I am already on/ fire.
By Katie Pukash
Katie Pukash is a writer and poet based in Boise, Idaho. Her work has appeared in Ink&Nebula, Breadcrumbs Mag, Yay! LA, among others. She was a member on the 2013, 2014, and 2018 Boise Poetry Slam Team and competed at the National level representing Idaho. She currently has two self published chapbooks.