Alexandru Paraschiv CC
Elegy for Deb
We shuffle off this mortal coil, Shakespeare wrote.
Hers included a left leg sliced in her twenties,
Left with nerve damage and heroin habit.
She overcame, made hard choices like giving up
her son, reconnecting with her sisters who were
never easy. Helping to care for her mother
who was even harder. Her father, the rock slipped
out from under her. She never found another.
She laughed loudly, had no indoor voice.
Had no patience for methadone clinic life or men.
Moved South to escape New England winters
Moved back when she realized it was the South.
At fifty-eight, a severe foot infection took
six months, two hospitals, daily nursing visits
to recover, but she did. At last she went home.
Then she died. Leaving us to wonder why and how.
What torment our bodies meet in this world. One can
hope for in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
the numbing peace of heroin
without damage, must give us pause.
One Quarter of American Women Take Antidepressants
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Be mindful, regulate emotions, behave right
You must radically accept the world is fucked.
Use active words and share your feelings even though
everyone else is still behaving badly.
Remember to breathe, breathe out the terrible fears
your mother put into your head, and your father
he really couldn’t do any better, could he?
It’s your job to keep it together after all.
Men can’t help it. Men have insatiable urges.
The dialectic between you and this mean world
If these things break down, maybe you’re a borderline.
Detach from the Outcome
“DETACH FROM THE OUTCOME,”
my supervisor said
is impossible to do.
But it is too easy to apply capitalistic standards
to that which is beyond simple economics,
and is anything but linear.
Success in this field is not measured
by things that can be graphed on a pie chart:
50% of all past clients have relapsed
4 % have died
20 % went on to have committed
long term relationships
but in 7% of those,
there were hints of dysfunction.
It’s absurd to think
I can measure my work in these terms,
yet I find myself doing it
because it would be so much easier
if I had some proof
I was doing some good.
is in the laughter
that you might occasionally hear
drifting out of my office.
Even amid it all:
Death of a mother, loss
of a partner, tremendous
physical pain. No less significant:
Being made fun of in school,
brutal probation requirements,
having to watch your back all the time.
Amid all this, on the good days,
we laugh and find solace
in each other’s company.
*Detach from the Outcome first appeared in; Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World.
Eve Lyons is a poet and fiction writer living in the Boston area. Her work has appeared in Lilith, Literary Mama, Hip Mama, Mutha Magazine, Word Riot, Dead Mule of Southern Literature, as well as other magazines and several anthologies. Her first book of poetry was published in May of 2020 by WordTech Communications. She works as an expressive arts therapist at an outpatient mental health clinic and teaches at Lesley University.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.