Maybe I’m Just Tired

Sometimes I feel as though I am depressed.
And I think back to when I first started
to hear the term “depression.”
I had a friend in middle school who was
depressed.

Well, she took medication for it.
I think what she liked most about depression
was the fact that she was so depressed,
she took medication for being
depressed.

I think there is another term
for people like that.

Meanwhile,
I’ve been sitting up in bed for
3 hours since I’ve been awake.
I don’t talk about it,
I just write.
Am I lazy, or am I depressed?

Maybe I’m just tired,
and if I stopped writing for once,
if I stopped drinking coffee for once,
I’d fall asleep
and forget about that silly girl
and her childhood depression.

Excerpt pt. 2 from Something Untitled

There’s something very romantic about books, old books especially. Broken spines, torn paper and watermarked pages—it’s all very relatable to one’s life, in a sense. Anna had a habit of spending hours after work at the bookstore and finding the most hideous and abused books, hidden amongst shelf after shelf after shelf. She would bring them back to her apartment and wedge them into her own bookshelf as it began to collect a new layer of dust in its new home.

She read the books of course, but the rate of buying books and reading them was terribly unbalanced. For every book she read, she bought 5 more, leading to an expansive collection of pages she’d never even touched. Coming home to shelves of books made her feel comforted and safe, as if their covers and stories could protect her from realizing the outside world wasn’t always such a nice place. After all, why bother pondering the real world when she had hundreds of happy endings right inside of her own home?  Because happy books suck.

Excerpt pt. 1 from Something Untitled

She swallowed hard and found that the back of her throat was thick with mucus and salt, remnants of her afternoon spill, one of her crying-bouts that seemed to be happening more and more often. Whether she always thought about friends, family, or handsome men was questionable—sometimes it was a gratuitously sad commercial on the television, an old man crossing the street, or year-old receipts for cups of coffee that set her off. This particular day, it had been a hole she found in the sleeve of her cardigan, near her left elbow, which made her eyes fill with tears. Every time she bent her arm, the hole grew bigger and more damaged, stretching into an oblong circle and ripping threads with every tiny movement. She wept for an hour before she wiped her nose and told herself to stop, Anna, you’re being insane. This is not a worthy moment to waste these types of emotions. Dead puppies, yes. Holey cardigans, no. Unrequited love—maybe.

Anna crossed the room to pry open the window by her bed—a bed much too large, why a lanky, single girl would ever need a queen sized bed is completely unbeknownst to her—and dry her face. She watched as a teenage girl crossed the street without looking both ways and wondered if her parents neglected her as a child, or if she had any parents at all. Surely they would have taught her better safety precautions. Anna was just about to pass the same kind of harsh judgment on two young boys with muddy shirts, most likely from playing ball in the park, but maybe they didn’t have parents either, when her phone rang from across the bedroom.

Don’t pick up
, she told herself angrily, you know who’s calling, what he’ll say and how you’ll feel when you hang up. …But maybe this could be the one, the conversation that will be different than the others. One more ring and the voicemail would pick up, and the conversation would never happened. Or it could be exactly what you expect it to be. She watched the boys with dirty shirts cross the street before she groaned outwardly, loud enough for them to turn and see her in the window, before she hurled herself across the room to answer the phone.

“Hello?”

Voodoo Truck

I’m frightened by highways
in the rain and transition
into an eighty year old
woman behind the wheel.

Traveling at 30 mph with my
wipers on high, you sped
by going 70 and honked
at me three times.

I pricked at your tires
on the imaginary voodoo
automobile in my mind
and smiled when I passed
your truck two miles
down the road
with the wheels
spinning in the air.

Whiskers and All

My relationship with your body
is simple and public.

I’ve worn your arms like a coat
in the wintertime,

I’ve carried your chin in my palm,
whiskers and all,

I’ve shown off how familiar I am
with the bends of your hands,

I’ve held your salty July body
in the Atlantic Ocean,
as light as a wave and
as soft as the breeze,

I’m aware of the change in scent
of your shoulders
after they’ve been burnt
by the cloudless sky.

My relationship with your body
is simple and public.