Manic bi-polar depression with a twist of sage

by Thomas Fucaloro


My mother calls me
every time
she hears lightning.

Something inside her crackles
and ghost stories become real
in the weathered horrors
of the night.

I don’t know how to write
positive poetry
about my mother.

I don’t know how to find
a proper connection
within us
this distance
is so close

like this lightning

I answer
in THUNDER
I pretend to have a heart
but the rolling words
become of anger
and my mother
cries
Oh the rain
the fallen lost drops
pitter on a dial tone
as I hang up and pretend.

I don’t know how to love my mother.
I don’t know how to write uplifting poetry about her.

She says there was a huge lightning storm
the day when her mother took her own life.

It was a long goodbye.

My mother calls me
every time
there is lightning
as if to warn me
this may be our long goodbye
but she never dials death’s number
and I answer her
from this very stage
of my life
and I know she can hear me
because we both go to the same therapist, god
and the same pills are prescribed
and our emotional unstable manic depression
feels like life boats
without water
stuck
wet cemented sand

and my mother calls me every time lightning strikes

she once said to me, “I don’t want you to love your father more than me
because he can give you more”

and I don’t know what to say to that except THUNDER

I do love you more
but I also hate you more
and this anger swells
rooting me
the cause of you

and I don’t know how to write positive poetry about my mother
and I don’t know how to love my mother

so I pretend
she is
a ghost.

I imagine her in white
hovered over the landscape
shimmer.

She floats on
up past
my heart, the moon
still
reflects
the life left
within her
is
within me
a
flying
lotus
lily
pad
of
light.

It’s easier to love someone
when they are gone.

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