How to Cure Her Depression

by Mo Fowler

Tell yourself she does not need you.

Tell her it is all
in her head.
She says ‘yes,
that is the problem.’
Buy her a shot of gin to slow
down her overthinking.

Give her blades of steel
for her birthday
show her you think she is
strong enough to resist
pounding in her wrists
that reminds her she is
still here.
When she tugs the strings
tying her down
draw balloons on the ends
of her scars
kiss your way up her arm
whisper into her chest that
she can fly higher

Tell her there is not enough of her
for you to lay your nighttime hand over
hold her thigh in your clasp
a skeletal prison.
When you fuck her you are
Shaking the bars to her cell.
Tell her you can break her free.

Fill her body with your voice.
Don’t let her expand
into it.
Don’t let her push every inch
of her illness
into her dried-out fingertips
drag them along the sun
to burn it out.
Keep her pared into pieces
hide the map she draws
to put them back together.

Tell her she is asking for attention.
Ignore her hands at the golden filigree
hem of your shirt
junkie on the street
needle still in vein
she begs you for change.
Push her greedy hands away.
Don’t pay her
your attention.

Tell her she is beautiful.
Tell her she is pretty.
Don’t mention that her heart
beats into you while she sleeps
has more muscles than a fist.
Don’t be there when it strains
stains her tank top burgundy.
Don’t tell her she is worth it.

Strap on your white

Tell her you can fix her
your grease-tinged meatball hands
can tuck thread through
her holes, reattach the lose parts of her soul
back to before.
Tell her you love her.
Forget to show her.

Tell her that you
are the cure.

(Album cover art by Dave Quiggle)

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