Lithium poem by Janet Kuypers


by Janet Kuypers

from the “ Periodic Table of Poetry” series

I know I needed you around me, I was desperate.
I know I wanted you in my life to calm me down.
I know I needed you to stop me from my manic episodes.

They told me it’s not an addiction I have with you,
but then they told me that if I broke away from you altogether
I would cycle back to my old psychotic, unhealthy ways.

So please don’t tell me I’m crazy for wanting you.
But I just couldn’t stand being me. I just wanted to calm down.
I was desperate for you. I wanted to feel normal again.

You were the one to calm ME down, but the thing is,
you were the one that was also supposed to help me
with my poor judgment and aggression.

Because when I was with you, I felt like my blood was on fire.
With you around I couldn’t eat any more. I felt dizzy with you,
I’d feel tremors and twitching. You made me unsteady.

On the surface, you seemed soft to me, with you silver-white hair.
With your lightness, I forgot how metallic you were when we joined.
And now look what we’ve become.

when we finally got together, when we fused together,
when we were finally ready to take each other in,
we became the source for the most violent explosion.

We became a part of a preordained cycle I couldn’t escape,
we became radioactive and caused something so unstable
that we destroyed everything we had.

You helped my destroy everyone that was me.