Portrait of Depression Addressing the Girl Child
if you can’t control the drag of your lungs snatching breath
like a drowned thing clutched at waters that baptized

devoured left dead, you who are only snot strangled sobs
and long hours dreading the long hours between your mother’s thighs

her lithe fingers making order of nappiness, you big headed girl child
you belly roiling fear of everything: balloons,

firecrackers, demons, dwarf hamsters, you love
starved little shit halving worms beneath sunshine,

you wonderer, you cruelty,
what they could've been without you—loved, far

from here, whole— you back rending yoke, you broken record
track 1 momma’s whyyyy howling on repeat

Daddy’s whisper weaving in and out of focus I’m so sorry  repeat
so sorry Brionne. you daddy’s sorrow

you tiny squirming thing, oh doomed believer
if you can't control the pant

your body makes courting breath, your heart’s desperate merengue
your lungs whistled blues—you fissured cask

how can you hold anything here,
even your body is trying to kill you girl—

let it—let them go. you have no power here.
hush child rest a while, it’s almost as easy as sleep.
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