3 a.m. Tango

by Myna Wallin

“If you drink from a bottle marked ‘poison,’
it is almost certain to disagree with you,
sooner or later.” ~Lewis Carroll

Your brain is an intricate labyrinth,
a collision of out-of-sync parts,
constantly moving.

“Hello, are you there?”
You want to say, yes, I’m here
But you’re unavailable, unreachable.

Depression may descend like toxic fog.
It may feel as though each breath is a gasp.
But act composed.

If it becomes unbearable, take the green pill,
the tiny one that melts under your tongue
like a fairy caught in a spring shower.

The bleary-eyed woman
in the rear-view mirror says,
pick a card, any card.

Try meditation, child’s pose.
Pet the cat. Gently.

Hang on to something familiar:
a book, your knitting needles, a mug of hot tea.

Your brain is an infinite looking glass
trapped in a fun house.

You grew taller for a while,
now you’re smaller. Much smaller.
If you continue nibbling the cake, like Alice,
we won’t be able to see you at all.

— from Juniper Volume 3, Issue 2