Fall 2010 / Issues / Poetry 2010 / Volume 41

This Place I Am–William Jolliff

It’s Paxil, she says. Take it with

bourbon. Better yet, find a

shrink—a wise one.

She wants me to swallow

whatever I need to fill my

hills and valleys in,

and her GP’s flat happy

to write paper for whatever

you want to try. But I worry

that pills will turn me into

someplace else . . . maybe

Boone County, West Virginia,

mountain-topped and washed

to hell, the ridges gone,

the hollers filled with overburden.

I’ve done a drug or two before,

self-medicating, I suppose,

that did just that.

I’d rather try this for a week:

take the phone off the hook,

log off the bloody screen,

and rest my temple and jaw

a hour or two each day

on Tilly’s autoharp,

just to see if the angel wings

that hover beneath the strings

will carry me, by grace,

to some better space—

to Canaan’s Land, maybe,

stoned on hillbilly Prozac.

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