Jeremy McKinnon Takes My Most Recent Depressive Episode & Nails It To a White Field, Acrylic on Canvas on Wood, 1964

Adrienne Novy

stand as close as the scarlet barrier will let you,                                                                                                                 & you can see each wrought iron head trying to pull itself from a grave:

my therapist diagnoses me with rejection sensitivity dysphoria, persistent
depressive disorder, overlapping symptoms of borderline personality disorder: my brain, full


of the static of unhinging jaws; a masonry choir of teeth, shattered china
underneath an ungulate’s grooved keratin.


i have a nightmare where my teeth break over & over & again.
cavities endlessly shedding from my mouth & onto an aching canvas,


steel strong enough to fasten a thrashing nerve to a gallery ceiling.
in an attempt to emotionally regulate, i fumble to the refrigerator in the dark


& plead to a pack of ice, as if retrieving a set of horns.
i am a museum writhing with hooves. the next morning,


my body is a stampede of light. blessed be
the skills that have allowed me to survive.



Adrienne Novy is a Jewish and disabled artist, Bettering American Poetry and Pushcart Prize nominee, and has been the social media editor for FreezeRay Poetry since 2017. She is the author of trisomy 22 and Crowd Surfing With God (Half Mystic Press, 2018). Her most recent work can be found in Vagabond City Lit, Glass: A Poetry Journal, Homology Lit, Entropy’s series The Birds, and is forthcoming in Drunk Monkeys. She currently lives in Saint Paul, MN and has a cat named Laurie.