After mid September,
I put down my blue pens and
closed my floral notebooks
as the leaves fell in shades of
scarlet, gold, and amber.


The parasite
invaded my brain in August.
He had come
then gone
over the years,
but this time,
he was mean and strong
and darkened my writing.


I read every word
Sylvia Plath ever wrote
then mirrored her style:
her guttural sounds and
biblical images.


My poems got so dark
that my eyes went black,
and when I woke up,
I was hanging in a closet.
Sylvia had helped me tie the noose
before she rested her head
on a towel in the
in her London apartment,
while I was in New Orleans
suspended by an amp cord,
resting like an old sweater
waiting to be useful


For months after,
I admired
other writers who
excelled in their art,
because I feared my words.
What if words
left to
fester in my mind
led me to Anne Sexton’s garage
or Kurt Cobain’s gun?
I hide in the real and imagined
universes of other writers
so that the parasite
can never find me