Spiral (poem)

This is a poem I wrote in 2009, an attempt to describe what happens when I ‘crash’ into a depressive episode and spiral downwards:

 

Spiral

 

The bird asked me:

          How does the crash happen?

I replied:

          It begins as a subtle,

          idiotic skimming of feathers

          about my head

          but builds to a blind

          thrashing of wings

          pulping my whole

 

          body

 

          contorting even the

          pose I hold, sitting.

 

The tree asked me:

          How does the crash develop?

I replied:

          The wind pulls me

          this way and

          that; grows from a

          rustle to an angry

          mob. It

          envelops my head:

          speech, nerves and

          movement

          slow

          -ing

          each to an infant

          crawl when swaddled.


The rain asked me:

          How dark does it become?

I replied:

          My whole being

          fights to preserve itself:

          I feel the ambivalence of

          wanting to live yet

          being almost unable

          to countenance

          survival. I wish for

          the whole world to

          hold me; to swaddle

          me in a bright blanket

          made up of atoms

          drawn from life itself.

 

The baby asked me:

          How do you grow?

I replied:

          In this state I barely         

          exist: pain wracks my

          entire body, neck to

          toes, head to

          tips of cold fingers.

          I go on only

          because it’s dictated in

          my genes. My DNA

          tortures me, tying me

          to life in these

          episodes of

          string-bound

          cloud.


I asked myself:

          Will you always go on?

 

I replied:

          I’ll fight. What

          else can I do?

 

There was no reply

this time.

 

 

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