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EXPLAINING DEPRESSION TO MY MOTHER



and in the first stanza i think about killing myself

but let’s say the speaker so you can continue to listen and not stop to cry or to think about burying another child or wonder how you will retrieve my body from kentucky   (a megabus).

so, in the first stanza the speaker thinks about killing themself. here, leave means, to die.

so in the second stanza, the speaker dissociates. the speaker is always asking for a friend, always trying to make a living being someone else. so the speaker is an actor, right? and they’re rehearsing this play in which everyone dies, got it? so what’s that phrase? don’t shit where you eat? don’t take your work home with you? anyway, everyone’s got sad eyes, but the speaker’s the one with scar tissue, so.

and in the third stanza we’ve got a series of action verbs, or, you know, a list of things you can’t do if you’re depressed or dead. the speaker doesn’t mean to conflate the two, but you asked. so action verbs, yeah. it’s this dumb thing actors do. you got to make a bold choice, right? so that’s the question. fight or flight  or stand still and let the megabus hit you.

in the fourth stanza someone asks the speaker just how sad are you really?    this moment is a placeholder for every time someone suggests free therapy thinking free therapy is actually free, as in does not cost anything. or like how last night, a girl the speaker is kissing makes a joke about self-injury & scans their body for land mines when they laugh a little too hard.      boom.

and in the fifth stanza the speaker feels selfish. every night they watch a country draw its last breath across a valley of asphalt on loop & dare cry for themself.

but it’s whatever.

today i put on a sweatshirt, a friend from minneapolis sent me, ate waffles, danced around my room, and did two loads of laundry.

that’s a shit ton of action verbs.

so yeah, it was a poem about depression, but it’s whatever.

in most poems a line break indicates a breath.

do you hear it? how in every stanza i am breathing, how in every word i am alive.


- Avinash Kashyap

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