Flying to the Moon – Linda Simoni-Wastila

escape into life Fred TomaselliHangover by Fred Tomaselli


There, behind the dusty heaps of crumpled doors and rusted engines, hidden from streetlights that banished the thin curve of the moon, they escaped. Below the hillock where they lay spread-eagled under Pegasus and Cassiopeia, the creek’s thin gurgle whispered through cracked earth. Grass poked spears into the girl’s thighs, and she momentarily worried about ticks and snakes, about today’s school suspension and her mother’s wrath still stinging her cheek. The boy reached for her hand, and squeezed. Night swaddled them.

“I always wanted to be an astronaut,” she said.

She closed her eyes and the sky opened. A star cascaded in rainbows, fireworks in reverse, scattering spent ash. The warmth sanctified her, a mother’s softer touch. Heaven tilted, the jinn spirits catapulted her higher faster towards the pock-marked orb, shining satin with benevolence. Asteroids showered silver rain as one horizon opened, then another, and another, galaxies bursting, an infinite slide-show of the absolute and she reached up, up, up into blinding searing white to touch to hold to know to be.

“God?” she cried, and shuddered.  The boy leaned close, his breath golden clouds. “Fly, baby, fly,” he said. “Fly to the moon.” Dew-wet fingers traced her lips, pushed in another bit of fleshy mushroom. The universe expanded, taking her with it.

when I refuse the lithium

the angels whisper a cacophony       unsullied by

any elemental metal i effervesce    up up

up to blinding sun      swathed in immortalizing

armor i surge feet pumping limitless engine immune

to flames licking joy’s corona         mad elixirs

swirly whirly in my brain bombard microcosmic

synapses      dopaminated nerves electrify

crimson corridors connecting muscle to mind

i hurl heavenwards

wings beat down the stalking shadow     from here

nurse is an ant      her entreaties flutter in my

maelstrom      i pause consider these idiocies and

the blazing beckoning white but bliss melts blue

hot hot hot             my seraphim falter whistling

screams on the dive bomb        waxen pinons

crackle-pop legs arms heart scrabble in endless

spiral     nurse chortles her teeth a jag of evil

normalcy       minute orbs roll in her upturned palm

my incinerated hand hovers

The sun scuttles behind the moon, turning sky to asphalt,

sulfurous and lovely.


Today my head’s at war: good versus bad, logic versus emotion, high versus low. I’m in the middle of my raging melodrama when Patty opens our session with a cheery hello.

The others squeak back, reminding me of those sunny Happy Face stickers. Everyone “checks in” with what they’re feeling, doing, thinking. I slouch in my chair, transport myself to some other place, any place but here. I conjure up my kitchen, my trusty Wusthof,  an excellent knife, an eight inch, ten/twelve carbon steel forged blade. Perfectly balanced. In my mind, the blade flashes bright and swift, decimating whatever lies underneath.

“Earth to Ben.” Patty interrupts my daydream. I open my eyes. “How are you today?”

I dismiss her with a wave of my hand. Laurel someone yammers about her depression. Everyone offers support. They’re so freaking chipper it makes me sadder, lonelier – isolated in my melancholy. I continue rambling through my apartment to the bathroom, an ideator’s paradise: the hard surfaces, the mirror, the razor blades, the scalding water. The medicine cabinet: Motrin, Aspirin, antihistamines, cough syrup, and lithium. If you take enough of it, lithium will kill you, though not very nicely. Inside the box of Trojans, a stash of benzodiazepines. Not enough to do me in, but taken with a glass or two of Dolce d’Alba, a hot bath, some Mahler, and the knife, they’ll make for a pleasant evening.

My dark mood lifts. Yes, I think to myself, this is how I will do it.

Linda Linda Simoni-Wastila crunches numbers by day and churns words at night. Her poetry, short stories, and novels explore health, in particular the societal and personal facets of medication and medicating. You can find her stuff published or forthcoming in The Sun, Tattoo Highway, Camroc Press Review, Right Hand Pointing, BluePrint Review, The Shine Journal, and Boston Literary Magazine. She lives and loves in Baltimore, a town where her Northern birthright and Southern breeding comfortably comingle.

Linda Simoni-Wastila’s Blog where she muses on writing and the mind .

2 responses to “Flying to the Moon – Linda Simoni-Wastila”

  1. Paige von Liber says:

    Wonderful, Linda 🙂

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