Poetry, Things I Can

5. Things I Can Describe: Depression Confines

The opposite of depression is not happiness.
It isn’t pleasure
or energy, balance or peace.
No, not even peace
although it is tempting to scurry
there to escape
the dull clang
inside that may as well be

in an MRI machine,
some patients experience such panic
they choose the tumor
instead. Imagine a knowledge
of that loathsome confinement
so intimate
its hug
becomes a welcome touch.

Try this:
Rise with this contraption
riveted to your skin. Shamble
through the day wide
awake. See only what the pinhole
lets in, taste through shavings
of pennies and polyethylene.
Hear voices
distorted to poison and reach
through jointed alloy to grip
or work or gather or play, pushing
hard to feel
even a remote approxmiation
of anything
as it truly is.

The opposite of depression is not mindfulness
or presence. It is not kindness or waking
from a bad dream
although it must seem like the sun
could at any minute pierce
the seams
and let outside in
if only there was
a sun.


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