Touch: The Journal of Healing



No Storm Like Him

    by Katherine DiBella Seluja

One thin crack

in the plastic sign

on the locked ward door

winds its way through

Authorized Personnel Only

like a branch

of the Hackensack River

where we used to play

dried mud thick

on our shoes split

in so many places

our mother's face

when she said  We just readmitted your brother.

He told us his crystals were melting.

Waiting for the orderly

to turn his key

I turn back

to our winter childhood

under the cellar stairs

wooden clipboard

blue graph paper

we were base camp

guardians of snow

charted drift

and temperature

graphed hope

for Sunday night storms.

The day I found him frozen

in the kitchen

cold words stuck to his tongue




what was this illness of ice?

Grey clouds

and thorazine doses increase

he wanders the blizzard alone

no guide rope tied to the door

unique as each stellar dendrite

no two of him alike.

© 2013  Katherine DiBella Seluja

Katherine DiBella Seluja received degrees from Yale and Columbia University.  Her poems have appeared in New Mexico Poetry Review, Santa Fe Literature Review and Sin Fronteras.  Her chapbook, After the Thread Unravels, was a finalist in the 2012 Bordighera Poetry Competition.   She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico and dreams in Siena.

Copyright © 2013

Touch: The Journal of Healing

All rights reserved.