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I Will Remember the Motion of the Moon

I don’t always know who I am,

but I know I’m not the kind of girl

who can be contained

in thick black eyeliner

& lace underwear.

I’m not audacious enough

to know what I want

& what I am made of.

The anxiety

of being looked at,

of being looked into,

can make me fold into myself.

I am still learning I am too many

things to explore all at once,

& unfolding

is a petal-by-petal process.

I remember the young girl I used to be,

sitting on my father’s lap,

his chin resting on top of my head,

his newspaper folded

the same way every day,

a girl with inexhaustible longing

for more—more of what?—

who was told who to be

& when to behave.

The girl I am today

is still eager for fire,

& still terrified to burn.

I once played a game of

“let’s pretend to be

anything but me”

& wrapped my leg over the back

of a motorcycle, hoisted myself

onto the cracked vinyl seat,

& the hot air ran its fingers

through my hair &

fumbled my budding breasts shaped

like unopened lotus blooms.

Guilt, euphoria,

& dim apprehension

stirred in this temporary wild girl,

as I tried to imagine

the woman I would become

in twenty & some years.

Would I become someone soft

whose arms are an oasis

or would my tongue cut & terrify?

I’ve learned since,

that I’m sometimes

wicked, broken, & lost—

& sometimes

I live my life with a chattering passion,

& also with devotion & charity.

I’m a jigsaw puzzle

still waiting to be solved.

I’ve come to accept

the dry, parched desert

inside of me.

If they cut me open

they’d find the Sahara.

Sometimes, the world

gets so big so fast

that I can shrink

& fall through the cracks

like an ant.

When the night is furrowed,

the clouds are bruised

plums, I’ve come to accept

that I will turn in circles,

until I no longer

know where it is in this world

I can hide.

I dream that I can no longer feel

my own flesh, my hard-jutting bones,

the soft places, folds & crevices.

I become plenty of nothing.

My changes are like

the motion of the moon:

one night, a crescent cupped gently

like an open hand, the next, a round

cast iron skillet that might break you.

I will remember

that the moon

has her cycles,

& so do I:

continuous in my

waxing and waning.

Outside the window, a breeze comes up,

a phantom thing

from out of nowhere,

& blows seeds

from an acacia tree. I hear a motorcycle,

& I see a wild, wild, girl hoisted

onto the cracked vinyl seat,

the hot air running its fingers

through her hair. & I want to tell her

that I still don’t know what I want

& what I am made of.

Sometimes, I am an oasis.

Sometimes, my tongue cuts & terrifies.

But I’m okay—even when I’m

wicked, broken, & lost, I

live my life with a chattering passion,

& also with devotion & charity.

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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