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I'll Believe in Friendship


I dream

of a trapdoor

into a room that spins.


words inch their way

into my head,

itching like bad ideas:

meters & acres

& points of no return.

How many feet

to the pavement?

How many hurts,

how many

broken bones?


New Harmony, Indiana.

The serene boondocks.

A girl named Katie.

A tandem bike.

A minute bottle

of vodka jungle juice


into the Barn Abbey.

Tornado sirens,

Midwestern snacks,

midnight escapes,

& the obscure ploy

to trespass

& skinny dip

in a pool.

Let’s do it!

(Her words or mine?)

A man lounged

on a mattress

behind a pickup truck

en route for Illinois,

& Katie & I

told each other a story

about a broken heart.


On the balustrade

I wonder

if I’ll see

the tops of everything.

& whether I’ll look back

to see my old self


on the pavement.

My doppelganger:

a passing glimpse,

the recognition


a few seconds later.

How many shadows

to become whole?

How many

cracked shadows

& shadowed cracks?


We tripped

over broken pavements,


to the moon.

I remember

the laughter

—not hers,


but born from hers—


that ran down my cheeks

in twittering tears.

We made up stories,

wanting our writing

to move

the day forward.

We added words,

made up words,

used other worlds’ words,

& watched newborn worlds

as they emerged.


If my fragments reconcile,

what happens

when the whole


with severed screams?

I am neither

asleep nor awake,

but in some other realm,


Such a tulip-soft day.

A bird makes its call,

two quick dips

& then

mangled laughter.

Memories go to noise,


& uncontrollable.


Secrets were whispered,

confessions brought forth,

as we blended

with shadows,

in a quest

to discover

the cathedral labyrinth

in dark

Indiana hours.


Of course,

I can pretend

shadows are solid

& slick.

Who’ll go to the river

& return my ashes?

I let the night

slow down around me.

I let

the night slow down

around me.


& just like that—

the sun came out

in Indiana.

Turned out

I’d been staring straight

into its face

for several lifetimes.

& peace settled again—again.

& peace settled again


& peace settled


Again. ***

(Cover art for this poem by Frank Morrison)

Confront Depression, Anxiety, Grief, and Loss through Poetry

Are the usual depression books helping you find a path to healing? No? Try this poetry collection especially for those dealing with mental illness and for people closest to them.

Create hope for the future. Paloma is faking it. On the outside, she’s A-Okay. She’s electrified at work, there is a cadence in her step as she walks her dog, she posts memes on Facebook, and she keeps up with most relationships. Looks can be deceiving, however. Inside, Paloma is just going through the motions, and she feels like things are spiraling out of control. But when things are at their darkest, dawn arrives with clarity and focus, and with it, healing. Paloma learns to value small glimmering moments of joy rather than searching for constant happiness, thus building hope for her future.

A manifesto for life. Happy, Okay?: Poems about Anxiety, Depression, Hope, and Survival is not simply a narrative spun in verse by a masterful poet. It is an invitation to readers to shake off the stigma and silence of mental illness and find strength in the only voice that matters: your own. It can be an electric roadmap to healing and a manifesto for wholeness.

In this inspiring and heartwarming book, you will:

  • Understand how to make happiness a decision, even when you don’t feel it in your bones

  • Find out how to exercise patience and self-acceptance

  • Attract hope and purpose back into your life

Fans of Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, The Witch Doesn’t Burn in this One by Amanda Lovelace, Depression & Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim, Our Numbered Days by Neil Hilborn, or Nothing is Okay by Rachel Wiley will love Happy, Okay? by M.J. Fievre.


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