Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Defining Depression

This is what depression looks like.

Once, when I felt sick and slow,
when I still believed covers
could cure me and pills
get me up from the basement,
just to make a cup of bullion,
or to eat something small and sweet,
(just and only that, that's all
I really wanted), and that one time,
yes, that once, you understand,
my stink pushed me
right out of our bed
and onto a floor
that trembled like tide
(or maybe that
was me crashing)
before, yes it must have been
before I rolled victorious,
a pale pebble
all the way to the landing 
(are you seeing what depression is?)
then butt and back
and bedsores raised,
palms flat on the new carpet,
eyes rising
like I'd been promised the sun,
I counted the steps.
Thirteen to the first floor.

And one hand lifted
(I think it was the left)
right leg bent, posed
like I'm kneeling (again),
hand down, knee down,
hand up, knee, stop, inhale,
hand down, knee down,
face down, next hand,
crawl like a hermit crab,
no hands left
to wipe away sweat
(are you seeing
what depression is?)
then again, seven
more steps
(or were those days?)
now five more,
now three more
(is three a magic number?)
now one more,

now the pain,
now the memories,
now my claw
on the banister.
I hear you
singing in the shower.

Katherine M. Gotthardt
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