Image Description: Painting of orange flowers surrounded by faces.

Art by: Phoebe Sparrow Wagner

by Kate Kangas

I don’t know what the clinical definition of mania is

but sometimes my eyes are diamond mine fields

a fuse away from blowing up.

Just a wink of my Wet and Wild glimmer lashes

piled into barbed wire barricades and boom!

You’d all be blown to smithereens.

But I keep that shit on lock down.

Incinerate that kid in a white gown – my inner child bride dazzling

in her finery – laid prostrate on the fires of the refinery.

Watch her go up in blue gas flames licking up the roof of my mouth.

Watch her turn to a cloud of ash snowing down into the pit of my stomach.

On days when the energy is high enough

for long enough a phoenix takes flight

with embers for eyes that burn through the flight across a topaz ocean.

We will surely crash somewhere,

maybe tropical,

shimmering in our box beach blonde and bronzing lotion,

bird carcass washed up and me holding the stones,

soaking up the last of their heat and knowing I will miss it. 

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