a submission from Je'Nieve Rogers

on experiencing mania

Unfortunately, even strict compliance cannot forever keep the creatures tucked and locked away in my mind forever. They will spill through keyholes, slick like oil and just as dark. Shimmering in the darkness, dancing in the bent light of shadows.

Whispering…Singing…Screaming…wrapping itself up my body. Telling me to let it in, to embrace the madness that lies ahead, to be my true self.

Slithering around my waist, beckoning me with lavish stories of our time together long ago. It is cold and warm at the same time. I bend my spine, to contort to hold the weight of my demon.

She is by my heart now.

…Listening to the rhythm. Promising me music and laughter and dance. Something to make my heart pump for. She has intertwined my fingers with Hers…

“I love you” She hisses. “Let me in…look at Me, kiss Me”

I don’t need to open my eyes to see Her.

I can feel Her grip around my throat now. Her cool hands cradle my heavy head. I am tired. I am hurting. I am heavy.

She has coiled around my body…I open my eyes, stardust greets me. The awesome beauty of a star being born. Brightness, watercolor in a vacuum of darkness. Sparkling with uncertainty and chaos as old as time. Before time, when the old gods were new. She speaks to me in all languages, yet none. Her voice, seductive as the curve in my hip, dripping with glittery honey of black bees, pollinated by the black holes of the infinite void I am falling in.

“Be like nature intended you to be. Be wild Be free as the cosmos designed. Kiss me.” She whispers again. I cannot protest any longer…

“Fly with me” She can feel my defeat. She looks in my eyes, with Hers. Fire, dancing wildly where irises should be. Her hair is made of the bands of galaxies, her lips made red by middle-aged stars.

“Let me give you wings” She kissed me…

Today, I fell in love with a Dragon.

I met a dragon, She gave me Her power.
Blue flames rose around me
A luminescent flower
From the ashes I rose
A phoenix, spitfire
In scales and feathers I was clothed
shimmering as I was dipped in gold
Reborn a fire breathing goddess
I soar above the world and gaze upon it
Opened my mouth wide bared my teeth
And tried to swallow it
Humbled, unafraid
I took a deep breath and set the world ablaze.

Je'Nievie Rogers is the founder of Sunflowers, a female mental health peer discussion group. You can get more information about the project and how to support it here

You can also find more of her poetry, prose, and musings here