“Relapse Ars Poetica” by Emily Hyland

when cycles circle, he’s on pills, slides by
relapse is perfect for the villanelle
I try and try to touch his lies

unzip his suitcase and find his supply
pills aglory, cancer spots on lymph cells
when cycles circle, he’s on pills in the sky

like my mother’s breast allegorized
the zipper: a surgeon’s slow death knell
I try and try to trust his lies

but there’s something absent in glassy eyes
and the bruises on his leg where he fell
when cycles circle, he’s on pills, he’s high

she was morphine high ossified and died
his pills, her droplets, nothing really quells
I tried and tried to soothe her cries

in the end of course, they were amplified
his snores and the death rattle I retell
when cycles circle, he’s been by my side
I try and try and try to help the guy

Emily Hyland’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in armarolla, The Brooklyn Review, Mount Hope Magazine, Sixfold, Palette Poetry, Midwest Quarterly, and Maryland Literary Review, among others. She earned her MFA in poetry and her MA in English education from Brooklyn College. A restaurateur, educator, and mindful movement teacher from New York City, her cookbook, Emily: The Cookbook, was published by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House, in 2018. She is a member of the Community of Writers and studies writing with Mirabai Starr. Emily is the co-founder of the national restaurant groups Pizza Loves Emily and Emmy Squared Pizza.  emilyhyland.com / emmysquaredpizza.com

Image: “Smiley Face on the Hudson” by Anthony Burt

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