Depression insomnia caused my street to buckle
as if the external world was collapsing,
my internal world had already.
Part of me clung to a bombed-out skyscraper
tilted back in terror of the sky.
My former aspirations, two murder planes,
and a stupid one-sided love affair created
a new Manhattan of places to avoid.
Subway grates became portals
I wished I could sink through like a lesser demon.
I left the city for suburbia, traded purpose for sleeplessness.
My knees wobbled at the rapid descent to a new hallucinated reality.
I became a hell-sent emissary, couch-ridden and irritable.
Now, the video store clerk knew me by name
as I counted out spare change to rent escape.
I thought my parents’ practical brown carpeting was a dying meadow
in Central Park where Shakespearean flowers once bloomed.
I had sunk to a substratum below even hell. I would close my eyes until the world solidified.
My life crusted over like my unwashed hair.
I only felt grounded when I could smell that familiar depressive stink and exhale.
Sean Hanrahan is the author of the full-length poetry collection Safer Behind Popcorn (Cajun Mutt) and the chapbooks Hardened Eyes on the Scan (Moonstone Press) and Gay Cake (Toho). He serves on the Moonstone Press Editorial Board and as an instructor for Green Street Poetry, writes poetry reviews for Mad Poets, and hosts a poetry series at Moonstone and Art with Spirits.