The sky is deceptively blue today
And bugs whine in the Indian summer heat
(Is it still an Indian summer if it happens every year?)
I woke up late
Which is to say I woke up at the same time I always do
Which is to say I have no reason to get up in the morning
Which is to say I do but I can’t see it with this heavy
Blanketing my fogged thoughts
So I sleep instead and try to remember dreams
That I wish I could write into reality
Which is to say I could –
I’m a writer you know –
But I have this nothingness surrounding my peony heart
It’s a numbness I guess, but also
But simply nothing at the same time
I wonder if I really am a writer
Or if that, too, was a “phase” just like they said my sexuality would be
But now in this time that should be autumn
I feel like it’s the end of something
Because endings are just so much simpler
Or maybe it’s just October 13
And nothing is so significant after all
My depression settles like a blanket over my head,
warm and suffocating and familiar. Some days,
it slinks around behind my brain, hiding
from the sun of the good days. Other days,
it sits in my skull like a stone, daring me
to smile, lest it remind me no one cares,
Today, it hangs over my head, a darkened room
only lit by the splinter of light carving a path
from the hallway.
Today, I am too hot and too cold all at once.
Today, I am too much and nothing at all.
There is nothing kind about pretending to love someone
long after you’ve forgotten what their voice sounds like
on sleepy, coffee-scented Sunday mornings.
There is nothing authentic about excuses dripping in guilt.
You know this.
Yet somehow, you’ve decided the rosebush blooming next to your door,
the one that caresses your doorstep with blood-red petals
even when it hurts to let them fall,
“The thorns hurt,” you say, but you haven’t seen the thorns in years.
What really hurts is knowing that you planted the rosebush there –
lifetimes ago, it seems –
but now you can’t bear to look at it
because it reminds you of the time you almost died.
The world is an ocean but no one told me
just how tired these arms could get
when the night sky drew overhead
like a down blanket embroidered with stars.
Trees bend in the wind in the same way
I lean against the deafening silence
in a train station inhabited only by me
and the way my breath stills the air.
Blades of defeated grass stand resolute
as tombstones for worms and me,
biding our time until the sun
pulls back the blanket again.
Afternoon. Sun. Grass.
But wait. Look up.
A plane. No wings. Plummeting.
But wait. Look again.
It’s his plane.
His. His. His.
No. I can’t.
Grocery store. Checkout line. Paper or plastic?
Oranges thump across the conveyor belt.
A child cries. Annoyance.
But wait. Think again.
See him. Alive. Not dead.
Him. Him. Him.
Find him. Go back.
Wreckage. Smoke. Coughing.
Sweat-tracks through dirt-stained skin.
Large metal debris screech.
Him. Him. Him.