If depression were a shadow
when it is my shadow
waking me up with glass behind my eyes
replacing authentic feeling with
stifled, muffled, agonies
depression tells me; don’t get your hair cut
the hair dresser will stare too hard and you cannot
bear to be scrutinized as your father who called you
many things like plain-faced and ungainly but most of all
stocky leading to a starvation worthy
yes that father who because of his own mental defect
could not really stand long in the sun of parenthood
you’d have been better off loose and lopsided
with latch key children
to climb dog piss stained trees that barely held your weight
as they pushed through concrete with white pealing hands
as city green must
an effort make
we would chew on wild rhubarb, give ourselves stomach aches
eat dandelions and wild plums and share a precious few
hard-boiled sweets sticky in our pockets
some turned our mouths the color of tar
behind the corrugated iron where bombed out houses
stand like disfigured moments
collapsing in tombed neglect
we chased skinny wild cats and built fluttering camps
fortresses around destruction and sadness
something I learned to carry inside
when I sought to travel far from the city
its anonymous bricked faces
lending little grace
when I said goodbye to prefab family who
had their own lives
I was an appendage
needing to find my tribe
instead inheriting faulty DNA
tingeing my wake with sorrow
much as I tried
even on the warm days I wore leg warmers
pretended to be auditioning for FAME
when I ordered a hot chocolate and watched curling waves
change sequined shoreline in slow swell
though the world amassed around me
glorious and glittering like water touched by fire
as bleating sun dipped low against horizon
I could not find a way to feel unburdened
or climb aboard the impulse to slough skin
care nothing of what others would say
try hard as I could to become
that ephemeris
out of reach … thing