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Home / Issue 34 / The Gospel According to Healthy Coping Mechanisms

The Gospel According to Healthy Coping Mechanisms

By Christopher Martinez

curled up on the couch like a dog again

even my blood is too loud this day


I’m far too concerned about ghost ships

the fact I cannot bake a pineapple upside down cake

or all the unreal things that become real

because my mind says so


to the point that


the labor of living is a solitary sentence

slowly             stripping joy

from my smile most midnights

and most midnights

Anxiety is a rolling torrent

white water                 claws me down into the pall

bottom of dreams


on those nights I crank the pain volume up to eleven

for my wicked mind that made touchable these drowning    ghosts


did I miss the exit to happiness somewhere along this road

or is the wasteland the destination

I swear my mind is not crazy but it is

a rest stop for weary angels as afraid of forever as I am


what pulls the grenade pin

and sends my sunshine into a spiral

which trigger turns the world into mirrors


am I am coming back

like a torched art gallery

tonight unburden joy

genuflect the grace

broken has afforded me

a softness

a gospel according to the therapist’s couch

a gratitude for percussive pulses

A the thank-God-I-talked-to-anyone-


the open windows and the calm

knowing thunderstorms will appear within them one day

and it’s okay


the horizon breaks dawn and darkness the same

let there be a moment

where the door open is left open


to carry your breath for even just a second longer

than you planned to

your burden is not a five-alarm fire

it only feels that way in your five-alarm mind


the whole world is a grenade

and it’s okay thank God it’s okay


bell the gospel of tomorrow is another day

I swear there's something on the other side of it

I swear to leave behind the open door you're searching for

and I swear when it’s loud when it howls

your pulse is music

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