My secret shame / I need to stay busy / don’t tell them you succumbed / say long day on the highway with a thumb out couldn’t catch a ride / say hot walk through dry desert / don’t say you gave up / I’ll say soul’s work / I’ll say bent feathers / took all day to get ‘em straight / engine trouble / I didn’t sleep /no / there was no one to call / at least I had something to fall back upon / nobody needs to know about us / now do they? / because you hold me up the way no one else can / you know how to be smooth / and you know when to keep quiet / I’ll say I was on an island / say I had a pedicure / I’ll cover for us / what do I love about you? / I’ve never seen you scowl / you give more than you take / I like your smooth legs / total collapse of the soul / and I didn’t hit the floor / that’s something / I’ll say I stayed in with a lover / I’ll say I wrangled three bears / I was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail / does it even matter? / I was happy / in the end / I’ll say cozy bed and breakfast / I won’t say I was thinking / I won’t let them know I was sorting vapors / I need to be busy / it’s so bad to sit still / I won’t say / I’ve seen things / I won’t say hurt deep / I won’t say dinosaurs / stuck in a tar pit / nobody called / I didn’t have a dog to walk / but there you were / holding your arms out to me / and I needed comfort / I needed an easy place to settle my thoughts / I needed to take some time to let my spirit sync up with my head / you’re like a field where I can stretch out my arms / nobody saying all wrong / you took me in and I let you / the daytime birds are chirping needles into my brain / my sleep shook me hard / my time lying down sideways on you / only god knows how long it takes / to for a body to recover / chained down to a hard dream.
Jenica Lodde writes a lot of poems and most of them are about mental illness. Her poetry has been published in SWWIM, Gravel, IO, River and South Review, Wild Violet, Electric Rail, Word Fountain and others. She is currently writing a verse memoir about growing up in a bus. She also makes jewelry out of paper.