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  You could have a big dipper   

Love Has Not Made Me So Happy by Madison Gill

I can give up smoking weed,

which is to say love

has not eliminated all of my bad feelings.

Even this love I willingly grit

my teeth for as it performs

its alchemy on me – forges me piece

by leaden piece into gold.

Love that forgives and forgives

though I drag it through the fire

with me over and over. In so many ways,

I am changed. In so many others,

I am the same old me.

Lugging the black iron chains

of my same fears, anxieties, and faults

behind me.

Carrying over my ugliest parts

into the shiny new me. Love tries

to share the weight.

But love has brought its own heaviness.

It burns where love shines its light

in my darkest corners – mold-crusted, festering.

Some days I cannot meet my own eyes

in love’s unflinching mirror.

Before love, I had no interest

in living forever. I could not see

the forest for the trees. Even now

from love’s height, that mystery of green

is no less overwhelming.

There are chasms in me too deep

for even love to fill.

The summit of myself

is as steep and stony a climb

as it’s ever been

and mine alone to make.

Still, I will take someone

to walk beside.

To point out the wildflowers.

To catch me when my pickaxe mind

strikes gold in a vulnerable vein of thought –

the sheer cliff face giving away

beneath my loose gravel grasping fists.

To fish me from the crevasse

of memory when it opens

up without warning – swallows me whole.

To steady me when the altitude

between where I am and where I’m going

makes my head swim.

To celebrate with me how far I’ve come.


Madison Gill (she/her) is a poet from western Colorado. An alumni of Colorado State University-Pueblo, her work has appeared previously in various print and online publications. She has also performed and placed in literary conferences at local universities. She is currently building a tiny house in the mountains. She can be found on Instagram @sweetmint_poet

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