Brenna DeSalvo

10 mg of Melatonin: What Keeps an Insomniac Awake at Night

Things that go bump in the night like the roar of the raging lion shattering your arcadian silence. Like the face of a wolf chasing you in your dreams, claws out, jagged teeth already sharpened, salivating at the scent of your fear.

The half-moon left a sadistic shadow on the pavement where I fell. Drunken lullabies used to calm me but now they only feed feelings of resentment. The wolves howl and I can feel their yellow eyes glaring into my soul. Something is missing. Something is gone. I reach for the left side of my chest and feel for the familiar pumping of my heart, but the silence is deafening. There is a hole, it is torn.

Violent kisses used to tear my skin apart until a gun to the back of my head held more ferocity than I've ever experienced in my whole life. Maybe skeletons do feel, maybe they are real. Blue hydrangeas are the only color I see in a world distilled through grayscale. A world with no thought- insanity pursues and seduces an open opportunity, setting chains around my wrists and ankles, locking me down.

The bare white walls- immaculately maintained. An empty room where invisible hands are grasping for your throat, but your lips won't allow any words to escape it. Paralytic agents readying your fate.

I searched the sand for the purpose I wished to hold in the palm of my hands but it sifts right through the solid foundation of my finger tips that rot with poison ivy ever since he let go. I melt into the sidewalk. They all clamor and congregate above me. Haunting, claustrophobic, the air is unable to reach my lungs. Chilling breaths beat against the frail hairs on the back of my neck. This unnecessary closeness to death leads me to drag my coffin behind me like a traveling burial ground.

Running away, the pallid moonlight shadows my every move. Inescapable, the moon always has it’s eye on me. “Don’t fall asleep at the helm” “Don’t stand under trees during a thunderstorm.” Let this be sage advice, let this be a lesson learned the hard way.

Stars, will you guide me home? Will you keep me safe?

Assertion: Deadly Nightshade

swiftly seeping into your veins
the deadly nightshade takes over

let the beauty

detract from the pain
hallucinate me back
into your life


I never left
I am toxic, it is what I do

Amendment: Detox

rehabilitation, no longer an addict
your body is cleansed, your visions erased

I am hollow

and unarmed
without my poison
what am I

but a distant memory

forget I ever came back,
I am leaving, it is what I do

Brenna DeSalvo is currently a freshman at Boston University studying Film and T.V. in the College of Communications. She has one poem published in an amateur anthology series by Eber and Wein. She grew up in northern New Jersey, but is currently living in Boston for college.