Side Effects by Myna Wallin

Poem title: Side Effects
Poet name: Myna Wallin
Poem: Lithium—my saviour,
mummified me in cotton batten,

I leave softer footprints
The bloodhounds quiet, 
curl up at my feet

I feel blackness 
peel off the walls 
And I am grateful

I stop fantasizing
running into traffic,
a swaying brown knot 

My fingers begin to quake
lifting a glass—a betrayal of tremors—
a growing self-consciousness

A fear of being exposed 
I wait until I have the all-clear
to surreptitiously sip

But lithium salt made me water-thirsty,
a notoriously unquenchable thirst

I learn a game of misdirection:
Look please, look at anything
except the polar bear woman
encased in ice
	         	   with trembling hands
End of poem.
Credits and bio: Copyright © Myna Wallin
Previously published in The Miramichi Reader, (April 2021). 
Myna Wallin, a Toronto poet and prose writer, was recently published in The Antigonish Review, Vallum Magazine, The Quarantine Review, NōD Magazine, Sledgehammer Literary Magazine, The Miramichi Reader, the League of Canadian Poets’ chapbook On the Storm/In the Struggle, Anti-heroin Chic, among many others. Upcoming poems will appear in EVENT Poetry & Prose. Myna has a master’s degree in English from the University of Toronto. Her latest collection of poetry, Anatomy of An Injury, was published by Inanna Publications in 2018. Wallin was longlisted for the 2022 Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest.