2 Poems by Dylan Willoughby
At the Frick, the Fragonards and silence / Offer at least a modicum of solace.
By Dylan Willoughby
February 5, 2022
CW: mental illness; death
What To Do In Case of Imaginary Fire
They say my twin was stillborn
That I was the only survivor
But in certain light, I cast two shadows
You have grown up all around me
Your many different selves
It is wrong to say I'm haunted
I was in this ward once, catatonic
My mother said you were drawing me towards death
But you were with me, there
You would make me open my eyelids
You would perform the strangest dance so that I would watch
On the wall a sign gave instructions
In case of fire or imaginary fire
But no one could see your conflagrations
CW: Mental Illness; depression; medication therapy
Losing One’s Mind At The Frick
What blooms does not bloom here.
The stolen light is a beacon, but withheld.
At work, I write a “motion to dismiss.”
A legal brief. More Death’s polite request.
I escape to the city’s clang and clatter,
Where my matter is a matter of indifference.
At the Frick, the Fragonards and silence
Offer at least a modicum of solace.
Too late, the fusillade of SSRIs
Against the brain’s betrayals
The sickness of the mind
Shores up its gloomed artillery
Breaches the enemy’s line.
Try in absentia what absence has left
Thieve from the ruins the ruin’s
Emptiness, from the lost, the lost’s bereft,
Cries the voice, a mirage, a wilderness.
Dylan Willoughby is a permanently disabled LGBTQIA+ poet, composer, music producer, video producer and photographer, born in London and currently living in Long Beach, CA. Find them on Instagram @lostinstarsmusic.