Paula Harris

Herakles phones the depression helpline at 1am, exhausted from crying and the inside of his head

it is easier to fold a fitted sheet than to get help from the depression helpline
easier to fold a fitted sheet with a partner who doesn’t listens to instructions
easier to fold a fitted sheet with one hand
easier to fold a fitted sheet made of damp tissue
easier to fold a fitted sheet while balancing one-legged on the end of a crocodile’s snout
easier to arrange finance and buy a fitted sheet factory and deal with the folding en masse of
   fitted sheets than to get help from the depression helpline

they tell him to take up a hobby
to have a cup of tea
to get some sleep

he folds into himself, holding the corner of a sheet in one hand
folds into himself and balances one-legged on the end of a crocodile’s snout

First published in Atlas Literary Medical Journal 3 (2018)

Paula Harris

About Paula

Paula Harris lives in New Zealand, where she writes and sleeps a lot, because that's what depression makes you do. She won the 2018 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize and the 2017 Lilian Ida Smith Award.

Her poetry has been published in various journals, including Berfrois, Queen Mob's Teahouse, Barren, SWWIM, Glass, The Spinoff, Poetry New Zealand Yearbook and Landfall. Her essays have been published in The Spinoff and Headlands: New Stories of Anxiety (Victoria University Press).

She is extremely fond of dark chocolate, shoes and hoarding fabric.