Back to Issue Nineteen.

ode to lithium #1: the watchman



How this, sparkler in the night’s black field, lighting up my brain
with love How did they do it before you ‐ survive Your elegance
of salt, rock, & sleep, who invented How can such a small watchman
keep safe all my hills & homes Why pink, your face ‐ not cobalt,

green, or just white Who thought you deserved your delicate hue
What do my organs think of your soft arrival each day Who unlocks
the door to let you in, like a wet cat How did you lift the heaviest
season from my eyelids, sweeping away a whole cloud How do you

pollinate my blood so exactly with sanity Does my brain’s infinite
heart burden you Why find my grandmother too late
Why not kiss everyone who needs your fix Why leave some
to their singed waves Who do you speak to in my body that listens

Shira Erlichman is a poet, musician and visual artist. A three time Pushcart Prize nominee, her work can be found in The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed Reader, PBS Poetry, The Massachusetts Review, BUST, Bitch Magazine, and The Baffler, among others. She was awarded a residency by the Millay Colony, the James Merrill Fellowship by the Vermont Studio Center, and the Visions of Wellbeing Focus Fellowship at AIR Serenbe. Her new album “Subtle Creature” is available on all platforms. Learn more at

Next (Robin Estrin) >

< Previous (Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach)