Categories
Depression Poetry

In Patient by H.E. Casson

These metal beds 

On either side

Up, up they rise

And here I lie

 

Tucked in with arms 

Crossed in an X

 

The floor is cold

It cools my back

I count, I track

The seconds tick

 

I hope I’ll soon 

Be done with this

 

The hospital

My second home

I’m home alone

I hum along

(I know this song)

I fall asleep

I’m hidden here

 

Between these beds

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H. E. Casson is a writer, a Torontonian, and an all-around-somewhat-okay human. Their words have recently been published by Malarkey Books, Lunate, Taco Bell Quarterly, Terse, and Writers Resist. Their SSRI of choice is Cipralex, though their anxiety prefers Ativan.

Categories
Depression Poetry

A Room Full of Shadows by Praise Osawaru

some mornings you wake to a stamp of silence

in the air, swaying in tune with your heartbeat.

 

you are paralyzed in your dreams

& you are a breathless wanderer, in reality,

 

trying to convince yourself that you’re not just

occupying space in the world.

 

you stare into the mirror in your room

& your reflection tells you that you have a condition—

 

that you suffer from the invisible illness.

maybe that’s why your feet leave no prints

 

or maybe the wind erases them as you go.

you compose an affirmation for yourself

 

or maybe it’s a mantra, you do not know.

it goes: i am alive! i am not dead! see me, world!

 

you say the words over and over again

till your mouth registers the verses.

 

yet you feel like a ghost hung up in cobwebs

in a room full of shadows.

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Praise Osawaru is a Nigerian writer, (performance) poet, & wannabe entrepreneur studying at the University of Benin, Nigeria. His works have appeared/forthcoming in African Writer, Kreative Diadem, Ibua Journal, Ngiga Review, Perhappened Magazine, Praxis Magazine & elsewhere. He was longlisted for African Writers Award 2019 and shortlisted in the 2019 Kreative Diadem Creative Writing Contest. He’s openly a film fanatic & overall art enthusiast/lover. Say hello on Instagram/Twitter: @wordsmithpraise

Categories
Depression Prose

Wanting Away by Jerry Chiemeke

You are lying on the floor, five inches away from the mattress. It’s no cooler down on this rug, but you are not exactly in search of lower temperatures. Curled on the 6 × 4 and breathing slowly is probably all the warmth you need, possibly the one thing that matters now…but maybe you are not out for comfort in these moonless hours.

You want space to mull over, to stare your soul’s emptiness in the eye, to brood over your disillusionment without the distraction of loving arms.

Surfing YouTube puts both your battery and your mobile data under pressure, and googling your favourite musician has long become an unexciting pastime. You don’t entertain the thought of praying either; for one, you can’t help but feel that it’s an easy pathway to sleep, and in any case, you took a shot at that option hours ago, but you felt no better. You can’t blame Him though, He’s a pretty busy Being, deserving of some real slack, even when your tears soak the communion railings, even when your knees sink into the tiles.

It gets to you, looking spoilt for choice one moment and left with nothing the next. It gets to you, being overlooked again and again, no significant additions on the last Google search of your name. It gets to you, populating your blood stream with blue and yellow pills just to boost stubbornly deficient serotonin levels.

You wonder if the tight shutting of eyes and quick gulping of water is even of any use: the disco hall segment of your life ended with your early 20s and the sound of bluesy guitars make up the soundtrack for your hours now.

You’re exhausted; of trying so hard to be funny in person to correct notions of you from people who couldn’t be bothered, of having to explain why communication is a real chore for you, of making her see that when you say nothing it’s not because you’re getting drawn to someone else, of dealing with “why so melancholic?” inquiries and “I just wanted to check on you” platitudes.

You are done with trying to make yourself understood or likeable, and you have come to terms with the fact that nobody’s going to love you right, that a hundred soothing text messages will never be enough, that God himself would have to come down if the pile of broken pieces that is yourself stands any chance of ever being put together.

You’ve run out of tickets to the pity party, and you just want to be away, this version of “away” being more of a feeling than a place, that fever pitch desire to swim across planets and watch your body float from the sidelines. Colourful photos from birthdays of acquaintances on your Instagram page are unable to cancel out the greyscale that is your default hue, and you know for sure that the ceasefire from the wars in your head has run its course.

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Jerry Chiemeke is a columnist, culture critic and lawyer. His works have appeared in The Inlandia Journal, The Johannesburg Review of Books, The Guardian, Honey & Lime, Bone and Ink Press and Agbowo, among others. A lover of long walks and alternative rock music, Jerry lives in Lagos, Nigeria where he is working on a novel. He is the winner of the 2017 Ken Saro Wiwa Prize for Reviews, and he was shortlisted for the 2019 Diana Woods Memorial Award for Creative Nonfiction.

Categories
Depression Poetry

The Cleansing Method by Agbiri-onwu Chinwendu

Close your eyes
Hold your breath
Count your numbers
And when you feel you can’t any longer
I want you to think about your therapy sessions
Remember the woman in White
Who
Like everyone
figured she understood you
Remember the words she used to describe you:
Broken
Lonely
Unhappy
Dark
Now let go
Catch your breath
Exhale all these meaningless adjectives
Say “I am tired”
But breathe and live
Because No one
I repeat
No one
Can take that from you.

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Agbiri-onwu Chinwendu is a student-physiotherapist and a varsity footballer at a Nigerian University. She spends most of her time updating her playlist, idolizing Celine Dion and wondering if she’ll ever graduate.