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Letter to a Teenage Manic-Depressive

by Marlee Abbott

There will be medication. Buckets of it, 

white capsules banded like water snakes 

in herpetological green, blue tablets 

that melt under your tongue into acrid sludge, 

yellow half-moons stamped with dosages rattling 

around in plastic orange vials with childproof caps. 


But one morning you will wake up early and feel 

the squelch of sourdough between your fingers, 

watch fresh loaves rise alongside the sun. Slather 

a slice in butter and a sprinkle of coarse kosher salt;

when you bite into it, you will forgive your past 

selves their transgressions, if only for a moment.


Someday you will be cooking a hearty soup filled with 

fresh vegetables from the garden when someone you love 

hands you a glass of wine they poured, or a joint they rolled, 

or a steaming mug of tea they brewed just for you. You will 

marvel at the ease with which contentment washes over you, 

like stepping from a dark movie theater into the sun.


When your beloved offers to chop onions for you,

say yes. When your mother calls, answer the phone.

When you feel like your insides have been carved out

with an ice cream scoop, take a deep breath.

There is a future version of you looking back with

indulgence, with warm bread and inexhaustible mercy.

About the Author

Marlee Abbott is a writer and actor from South Florida. She received her BA in Creative Writing from the University of Miami. You can find her work published in The Write Launch.

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