#9 – Two Poems – Shira Erlichman

PrimevalD

On February 6, DMC celebrates its TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY! 
Holy mackerel, time flies. It's been a great year. We've published 
hundreds of pieces this year that we feel proud and honored to 
share, and we also put out our first book! This week we will be 
counting down the Top Ten Most Read posts from our second year of 
existence, and will present #2 and #1 on Saturday, February 6. 
Thanks for being part of a wild and excellent two years.



Stillness in Four Movements

The hospital ceiling. Neon hallway lights. My parents 
buzzed in through metal doors. Catatonia. My father’s 
hand. Urine in the sheets. A moth clings to the mesh 
of the window. A game of backgammon. My father claims 
he lets me win. When I lose I blame the pills & he laughs. 
Corridors of blue-socked body-draggers. Foggy everything. 
Guards that force a screaming teenager to the ground. 
A stone the Art Therapist lodges in my hand & tells me to love. 

The hospital 			           ceiling. Neon 			        hallway 
lights. My parents 		   buzzed in through 		        metal doors. 
        Catatonia. 				                 My father’s hand. 
Urine		in the sheets. A moth 		clings to the 
        mesh 			           of the window. A game 
of backgammon. My father claims 		      he lets me    win. 
When	   I lose 			              I blame 		            the pills & he 
        laughs. Corridors 		              of blue-	           socked body-		
draggers.          		         Foggy 		                   everything. 
Guards that force a screaming 				                         teenager 
to the ground. 					              A stone 
the Art Therapist lodges 			              in my 	hand 
& tells me 							                                        to love. 

The hospital 	 		           ceiling. Neon 			        hallway 
lights. My parents 		   buzzed in through 		        metal doors. 
        Catatonia. 				                 My father’s hand. 
Urine		in the sheets. A moth 		clings to the 
        mesh 			           of the window. A game 
of backgammon. My father claims 		      he lets me    win.
When	   I lose 			              I blame 		            the pills & he 
        laughs. Corridors 		              of blue-	           socked body-	    
draggers.          		         Foggy 		                   everything. 
Guards that force a screaming 				                         teenager 
to the ground. 					              A stone 
the Art Therapist lodges     			              in my 	hand 
& tells me 						                                                 to love. 

The hospital    					

		                              A moth 	       clings to the 

        mesh 		
   	      
                                                 of the window. A game 

                    I lose 			

                        o 	    	                           blue
d agger          		

                                                 Fog


		                                                              in my 	   hand




What to do with my hands
						
in my room
in the mental hospital
						
the only thing 
I wanted
						
was to fold 
laundry
						
I imagined it
						
warm in my hands 
my normal
socks
						
a quiet that had nothing
to do with
God
						
the only other thing
I would have asked for
						
on that afternoon 
behind locked sunshine
						
was to walk 
the forty feet
						
from my house 
to the mailbox
						
and slip
an envelope in
						
even if there was 
nothing
			
inside. 
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About Shira Erlichman

Shira Erlichman was born in Israel and immigrated to the US when she was six. Her work can be found in BuzzFeed, BUST Magazine, Autostraddle, Muzzle, the Massachusetts Review, Winter Tangerine, Union Station, and The Bakery, among others. As a musician she's been lucky to share stages with Tune-Yards, Mirah, and Coco Rosie. She earned her BA at Hampshire College. She lives in Brooklyn where she teaches online writing workshops and creates. View all posts by Shira Erlichman

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