The Mania Speaks
You clumsy bootlegger. Little daffodil.
I watered you with an ocean and you plucked one little vein?
Downed a couple bottles of pills and got yourself carted off to the ER?
I gifted you the will of gunpowder, a matchstick tongue, and all you managed
was a shredded sweater and a police warning?
You should be legend by now.
Girl in an orange jumpsuit, a headline.
I built you from the purest napalm, fed you wine and bourbon.
Preened you in the dark, hammered lullabies into your thin skull.
I painted over the walls, wrote the poems. I shook your goddamn boots.
Now you want out? Think you’ll wrestle me out of you with prescriptions?
A good man’s good love and some breathing exercises?
You think I can’t tame that? I always come home. Always.
Ravenous. Loaded. You know better than anybody:
I’m bigger than God.
by Jeanann Verlee
Jeanann Verlee is author of Racing Hummingbirds, recipient of the Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medal in poetry, and Said the Manic to the Muse. She has been awarded the Third Coast Poetry Prize and the Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry and her work has appeared in The New York Quarterly, Rattle, and failbetter, among others. Verlee wears polka dots and kisses Rottweilers. She believes in you. Learn more at jeanannverlee.com.