Black Holes in Therapy

Rose Menyon Heflin

Black Holes in Therapy
An enraged black hole
So unloved by its mother
Seeks to consume time
Constantly starving
Eating disordered black hole
Devours the dawn
Some distant black hole
Very perfectionistic
Never satisfied
Rebellious black hole
Abandoned by its father
Tears through the cosmos
Furious black hole
Paused a remorseful heartbeat
Resumed ravaging


Rose Menyon Heflin is a writer and artist living in Madison, Wisconsin, although she is originally from rural, southern Kentucky. Her poetry, which has appeared in numerous journals spanning four continents, won a Merit Award from Arts for All Wisconsin in both 2021 and 2022, and one of her poems was choreographed and performed by a local dance troupe.  Additionally, she had a creative nonfiction piece featured in the Chazen Museum of Art’s Companion Species exhibit.  Among other venues, her poetry has recently been published or is forthcoming in Deep South Magazine, Defunkt Magazine, Fireflies’ Light, Hare’s Paw Literary Journal, Isotrope, Moss Piglet Zine, Of Rust and Glass, Pamplemousse, Poemeleon, Red Weather Literary Magazine, San Antonio Review, Star*Line, Witches Mag, and Xinachtli Journal (Journal X).

Author’s Backstory and Comments: Initially, this was actually two disparate scifaiku, both about black holes. The first was about the remorseful one, and it was birthed in a workshop. The second one, which I wrote immediately after the workshop ended, was about the black hole with maternal issues, and at the time, I was unable to decide between making it about mother or father issues. Then I realized that, since it was, at that time, just for fun, I could do both, so the poem about the abandoned black hole was born. Upon rereading them later, I thought to myself, “All of these black holes need therapy,” so I created a couple more scifaiku along those lines – the one about the black hole with the eating disorder and the overly perfectionistic one – making it a sequence of five.  I had to include a poem about a black hole that is perfectionistic, because as a long-time OCD sufferer, excruciating perfectionism is one of my primary symptoms, which I’ve been working hard to address. I then simply assembled the scifaiku. I think that many people will be able to see themselves in one or more of the black holes discussed in these scifaiku, and hopefully, they will feel some sort of cosmic connection.

Image Credit: Abstract black hole wallpaper []

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