WISH IN ONE HAND, SHIT IN THE OTHER The L.A. River shifts like a wave pool reversing course. Grocery bag parasails catch lift & sixpack rings eddy. Our beach cruisers slow, pick-up speed moving backwards. Cycling away from sea, we squint into the Pacific horizon. Raked over surfers rise from salt soup to carve barrels tail first. Shaka at the drop. The sun moves east across the sky & June gloom fogs. Keep going. Dad pulls his MISSING CHILD flyers from telephone poles & eucalyptus trunks near our home. We coast into the garage, wrestle the backdoor open without turning around. Mom’s tears sup back into her eyes but my sister is still missing. Maybe we shove inertia into history. Instead of bedside prayer we take her chaos to a shrink. Rewind the tape and find the frame. The moment the plot shifts from coming-of-age to Bipolar case study. But you know what they say:
-- Nellie (she/her) is a PhD student in poetry at Georgia State University. She enjoys writing poems about her home state of California, the cult of her youth, and ravages of mental illness on her family. When she is not writing, she can be found photographing turtles along the banks of the Chattahoochee River.