KD FISHER

Mare Serenitatis

 

I am jealous of the moon

I long for her clean serenity

cool and blue-white

her daily self erasure

 

If I could just hang in the sky

pulling the tides

let the boiling clouds race

I might

expand and contract with the turning

of slow celestial time

passing in dark and light

 

I would not worry

about the men

toiling for nothing

back to back with absurdity

 

The wall of the sun

would not reach me as I

full would not see

the multiplying cells

shifting softly below

 

But I am not alone

for I have heard the basketball slapping the asphalt

and all of the trucks roaring as one

The sun rises

and rouses the earth

 


 

Cross Country

 

Quiet I rise in the dark

and creak down the stairs

to switch on the plastic radio.

Twisting shadows

drift in the wind and the porch light.

Stomach churning bites of burnt toast.

 

Her: skin like summer sun toast

smoothing on baby oil to get dark.

Me: under the snapping umbrella hiding from the light.

She paused on the sun-bleached stairs

face a mosaic of cloud shadows

trying to find Elvis on the radio.

 

Driving cross country we laughed on the CB radio

and stopped at a sepia diner for raisin toast.

The men’s voices were smoky shadows.

We whispered in the motel dark

the metronome of a creaking mattress upstairs

floral curtains choking yellow light.

 

On the edge of the striated abyss my head floated light

harmonica trickling from the car radio.

Tourists lumbered up the dusty canyon stairs

a big man wheezed “I’m toast.”

We stayed until the sky hung dark

drove out slowly chasing headlight shadows.

 

I have lived in shadows.

We drove through the city light.

Warning her not to walk alone in the dark

she tuned me out a fuzzy radio.

We drank drugstore champagne in toast

and started awake on monument stairs.

 

Home she creeps down the stairs

and dances with shadows

in taverns to toast

stumbling home in the pale light.

I’m listening to news on the radio

wishing the world were not so dark.

 

Inviting her in for eggs and toast we twine together on the stairs.

Recalling the desert dark and sagebrush shadows

I toss her a beam of light but it scrambles, static on the radio.

 


 

Hunger

 

I am a volcano

twisting hot

thick energy

needing

 

I am a cactus flower

shifting restless

waxy smooth

opening

 

Wind rushes silver fast

down the tracks

thrusting

through the window

 

In the backseat

nothing is real

orange light and

that baseline I feel

in my stomach

sighing on my skin

her hands tighten on the wheel

 

The hungry days

come faster now

skyf

I’ve always tried to outrun my mental illness. What I couldn’t outrun I buried. Inevitably, though, my anxiety and depression would catch up and bubble up, leaving me reeling. I didn’t seek treatment for my mental illness until my mid-twenties. Until then I just hurt and wondered. Why I am exhausted all the time but unable to sleep? Why is my body so sore? Why I am constantly terrified? Why can’t I breathe? Does everyone feel this way? When I finally found a good, queer-positive therapist things began to fall into place. My feelings are valid. I am valid. I don’t need to be embarrassed. I discovered for the first time in a long time that I could like myself, maybe even love myself.

Growing up queer and deeply closeted hurt me. Instead of railing against a heteronormative world that erased or trivialized queer folx, I sought to obliterate myself. My poetry reflects these experiences of erasure, fear, and self-loathing. It also reflects experiences of love, desire, and strength. The written word was my escape and comfort. It felt better, slipping into another world of my own creation. My words gave me the agency and power to shape my queerness and mental illness into something beautiful.

I am so grateful for MITA and other organizations dedicated to amplifying the voices of women and marginalized folx and destigmatizing conversations around mental health. The mental healthcare system is far from perfect but I firmly believe that openness, honesty, and community can help.

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KD Fisher is a New England-based educator and queer author of narratives and poetry exploring the intersections of mental health and identity. An avid reader and writer of romance, KD is dedicated to writing comforting happily ever afters for and about queer folx. She holds a degree in International Studies from Loyola University Chicago and a Master of Arts in Teaching from The University of Pittsburgh. When KD isn’t writing she can usually be found running with her overly enthusiastic dog, mooning over other people’s gardens, or being really bad at yoga. You can reach KD at her website (https://kdfisher.squarespace.com) or follow her on Twitter at @kdfisher_author

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