B I P O L A R   D I S O R D E R ' S   A   T O R C H   B U R N I N G   B E T W E E N   M E   &   T H E   M O O N  

​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L

A B O V E   T H E   T R E E S   I N   T H E   Y A R D   A C R O S S   T H E   S T R E E T 

B Y   A R I A N A   D . D E N   B L E Y K E R

I take in the bruised moon whole;
its bite washes & grows within my mouth,

rises through my body
giving me form, leaves my blistered tongue

cooling in night air.
Pain feeds me: its open mouth

allows no distance
between me & the mirror

at my center looking back at itself,
& for the first time I understand

what black is, showing itself only in ghosts,
my brokenness looking 

at me as if I should grope
it for pleasure, as if I’d be driven 

mad if I didn’t. I break the prayerless quiet,

birth emptiness, (unsure if I’ll get through
this darkness knowing nothing changes,

though this is different, I’m different
& mistakes are forgiven) & release it

to the wilderness, watch it bolt,
wait until what’s left behind is gone,

knowing it’ll be growling
in the blackness, ready to push back

onto my lap so I can pull it up to my chin,
close my eyes & see the fire.

Ariana D. Den Bleyker is a Pittsburgh native currently residing in New York’s Hudson Valley. She is the author of sevral poetry collections, including Wayward Lines (RawArt Press, 2015), the chapbooks On This and That (Bitterzoet Press, 2015), Strangest Sea (Porkbelly Press, 2015), Beautiful Wreckage (Flutter Press, 2015), Unsent (Origami Poems Project, 2015), The Peace of Wild Things (Porkbelly Press, 2015), Knee Deep in Bone (Hermeneutic Chaos Press, 2015), Birds Never Sing in Caves (Dancing Girl Press, 2016), Cutting Eyes from Ghosts (Blood Pudding Press, 2017), and Even the Statue Weeps (Sylph Press, 2017). She is the founder of ELJ Editions, Ltd.