Marías at Sampaguitas
Poem by Morgan Russell
Not a Metamorphosis Metaphor
Sencha chimes. Try to wake but mostly sleep. Sleep. Too much sleep and too little sleep are both markers of depression. You have depression. Sencha chimes. Sleep. The only echoing chimes I hear—a mental disorder. You are a mental disorder. Characterized by persistently depressed moods. You are persistently depressed. Or loss of interest in activities. Do you have activities outside of being depressed? Sencha chimes. Wake. For once, awake. You fear the chimes. Can they put you back to sleep? Hypnosis. You’re not susceptible, but perhaps that’s what the hypnotist said. Stuff on a shirt made of flowers. The hole on your pant inseam is a monarch caterpillar. You pull strings of the flowers off, food for the coming chrysalis. Pieces of a puzzle, rarely matched well. Depression. You have depression. Apathy is a symptom of you. Squat over a cup. Only the clean can see the doctor. She’s on amphetamines but they’re prescribed. “Oh! Okay, come on back then.” Pen to paper, ad nauseum. The churning carpet channel that separates couch from seafaring desk is monumental. Pen to paper. Pen to paper. Wooly eyes. Cotton stuffed mouth. Ears ringing. Chimes? You’re not awake. Pen to paper. Pen to paper. Desk. Screeching tires leave you slack jawed. Awake. Have you ever wondered if you had bipolar II? No. No, please. That’s mom. I’m me, not mom. Being massively depressed while on antidepressants is usually an indicator of bipolar depression. The clumsy caterpillar eats through the flowers over your heart. Eats your heart. No. It’s only fallen to your gut. Dig your hand in and staple it back in place. You’re on the couch. Prim, not proper. You have a hole the size of a monarch caterpillar on your right thigh. Prim because if not, you’re unproper. Ushered into a small room. Swabbed for genetic testing. She scrubs your cheek and tongue. Sends off a tube that posses all of you. Genetically. Pen to paper, again. Referral for psychological testing. You need psychological testing. Out the door, into the rain. Bereft because without depression, you don’t know who you are. That’s the problem. You’ve become your depression. Cottonmouths are venomous. You can’t taste lunch. Wonder if you bit your lip, could you inject yourself with your own venom? Cry in the car because you’re mom now. Metamorphosis in reverse. Fears are a fallacy, but goddamn are you scared.
Morgan Russell (she/her) is the Creative Writing Editor for Marías at Sampaguitas. She is interested in the term coined by Walter Fisher: Homo narrans, storytelling human. To quote her favorite professor, Dr. Ariel Gratch, “What makes a storyteller different from someone simply telling a story is that a storyteller helps their audience better understand universal human experiences.” She believes it is our job as humans to share our views, especially those with marginalized voices, to build the universal human experience that Dr. Gratch talks about. When she’s not waxing lyrical about the importance of storytelling, she writes poetry that can be found in Rabid Oak, Empty House Press, Apricity Press,The Rush, and mutiny! She is a poetry reader for Brave Voices Magazine and 805 Lit. She is on twitter @conniptionns.