THINGS I WISH I NEVER KNEW
Depression is a gatekeeper who you will
spend years trying to sneak past. When
you finally do, it will not feel like healing.
There is no map to this starting over.
Not eating is never as glamorous as you
think it’s going to be. Your sparsely portioned
meals are mocking you for eating at all
and when you faint in the checkout line
at Walmart, you will hear the saltine crackers
laughing at you from inside their packaging.
Everyone is expecting you to act like
you have it together all the time. Do not,
under any circumstance, ever forget to
put on mascara, because then they will know.
You cannot use other people to smooth
the fissures in your bones. Love is not
meant to be a process of filling and
emptying. You will have to do this
rebuilding on your own.
Everything gets darker before the
breakthrough. You never know how
far you have to fall. You never know
if you can get back up. But you have
no other choice.
The bottle calls to me
from its spot behind
the milk. The bar whispers
my name from the corner
it calls home. The liquor
store pulls at my teeth,
arms stretching miles
to my hungry mouth.
Some say it’s an itch you can’t
scratch. I say it’s the hand and
the flame, a desire to know what
might hurt me, how far I will go,
how deep I can sink.
I think there is a message
for me at the bottom of every
bottle. I consume and consume,
looking for clarity or comfort
or companionship. My body
revolts against me, but the hunger
is unending. There is nothing
in the world loud enough
to drown it out.
I pick up new habits, hoping they will
cancel out, but I am still searching
for that answer. The bottle calls. The bar
whispers. The liquor store pulls.
I still come running.