You understand depression. The harsh whispers and shallow breathing. The self flagellating nature of it. The way it seems to kill you over and over again as your body continues functioning. What scares you is not depression, but blankness- lack of motivation to do anything. An apathy that extends to everything- a deep freeze, a living death.
I don’t know if you’ll understand
when I say I feel more like an ocean
than a person-but open my mouth, coughing
up seafoam, letting out the tide, hoping you
won’t suffer, nearly suffocating like I do, the
riptide dragging you in, churning in a world
of shipwrecks transformed by coral.
I want to immerse myself in solitude,
in silence, in things that make my head
feel more like a universe, alien worlds
waiting to be explored and discovered-
instead of a pit, scarred by violence,
comforting me with blackness,
in the corners, or under covers, drinking
in the imaginings from tortured,
Is perfection an aspiration, or a reality?
We look for things to fill the space where
loneliness resides, rooted to her seat,
her face a blur of residue- blue-green
& streaky, as if she were a coin rather
than a person. You scratch into the patina,
scrubbing at the mood, hoping to retrieve
something reflective. When the face is
scrubbed clean, the dull metal stares
back at you, the suggestion of shape
all that remains of sharp lines- definitions
of a person you once knew. The room
is filled with dust & cobwebs,
and one set of footprints
that aren’t yours.
You deal with your problems
with a kind of arrogant indifference,
outracing overwhelm, you suppress
the wide eyed monsters, greedy lips
glistening red, wetly tasting the corners
of it’s (oh god there is a monster mommy)
stained mouth. The skin toned creatures
slither, silent and oozing, the matron of
Grendel, the clog in the shower drain,
the crust in your eye upon waking, you
try to exorcise the creature, making it
stronger simply by the process.
Where did it come from?
Where is it hiding?
(Oh god, the monster is actually inside me.)
because when you sit still
the emotions coiling around you
have fangs, teeth and claws-
poison stingers painted red.
You see the ghosts you’ve been
ignoring stir, they wail like only
babies and old people do,
remembering another shape,
a lack of form spurring and
splitting infinite possibilities.
Hatred. Hatred for self, for others. Inaccessibility caused by lack of empathy. Arrogance taken for insight, cold decisiveness for reason- malleability of spirit for genuine emotion. These are the things that continue. These are the things that mean nothing, inherently. The thoughts flow, the mouth moves, and feelings grow with or without your permission. Your life moves on, as a dream does. You cling to the symbols even as they lose meaning for you. You are much more than this, you remember.
The rooted and the rootless. They do not understand each other. They are fundamentally different, and exactly the same. What is between sky and earth? The human tries so hard not to exist, needing something to believe in, to draw forward our bodies, our momentum by these invisible strands tying us to the sky. Sometimes we are more like poor glow worms than people. Our lights dimmer because we are not fulfilling our function, so sick from thin air, atmospheric pressure or sinus- ear tingling, maddening sensation, even as the lungs fill with chunks of moss, and earth.
I’ve been told I talk too much. Too little, too loud. Too fast, too slow, too quiet, with too many large words, with too much sarcasm, that I’m too hyper, too cynical. That I care too much or too little. That I am too emotional or that I am not expressive enough. I’ve heard it all, and every time I hear it from the mouth of someone I love, it hurts. I feel the need to shy away, retreat, become someone different, disappear, die. Anything but be an inconvenient person, an inconvenient woman, an inconvenience to your life.