Lamictal: Prelude to the First Dose

"Yellow on Red" by Christopher Woods
“Yellow on Red” by Christopher Woods

Tonight there is no TV, the satellite clotted
with snow. I left on the outdoor light
so I could watch the flakes flowering
the budding lilacs. I am missing
San Francisco, that feeling of the earth shifting.
Though I’m calm, having been alone all week.

You’re off in Jackson this week,
evenings at the Million Dollar Cowboy bar, clotted
with tourists. Days in Rendezvous Bowl, shifting
from edge to edge in the flat light
of spring storms. You always miss
mountains, I know, they’re where you bloom.

I like the energy of spring light
and the way the lilacs rise up weakly,
laden with snow. Electricity flowers
in me, so we’ll use this new drug to clot
that hemorrhage. Who knows what might shift,
if there are pieces of me I’ll miss.

You said you’d leave if this kept up, the shifting
moods and rages. I said anger was a light,
all women had anger flowering
in their souls, red stars, pulmonary clots,
women feel angry week after week,
yearning for the men who are missing.

But tonight I feel calm and bright.
It’s because you’re away skiing this week.
If no one disturbed me, who knows what might bloom,
what work I might do without drugs, before shifting
again into despair, because I’d miss
you, inevitably. My throat knots

at the thought of you shifting
away from me, switching off the deck light,
going off to sleep in your uncluttered,
quiet way. I hate to close my eyes on a flower,
but you can do it, there’ll be a new bloom next week,
you’re not afraid of what you might be missing.

I don’t want to miss you. The wind has unknotted
the lilacs. What’s shifted is I want to be loved.
When the week ends, bring white flowers.


By Claudia Putnam

2 replies on “Lamictal: Prelude to the First Dose”

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