Nickel-Cadmium Battery


Running myself down like an old nickel-cadmium battery
Charged at the beginning of the day but with the energy
Of a twenty-four hour a day memory
Remembering the length of time I spent yesterday
Spinning my heart and mind over the bumps
And creaks my body speaks,
The groans and the braille tell the story
And this hi[s]tory is trapped in the chemical reactions
That give me energy after
Forgetting if I fell asleep the night before
And waking with the pools of my eyes dried shut

Must keep in mind to make the battery run dry
Before feeding it more or it will give me less to go on
Or tomorrow will be shorter than the last.

If depression is a rock
And anxiety a hard space
I’m stuck between an ever-narrowing valley
Of the things that broke me
And the things that maybe will
The electricity in my body is running so dry
That the desert of my skin misses
The rain of my body
Dry thunderstorm in no one’s arms

My battery is running low with nowhere left
For this last bit of current to go so I can sleep
And the desire to feed it to you is so short
An upturn of the palms would let it arc
Like I am always the third rail
The pleasant tap on the tip of your tongue
From a nine volt,
Looking out at skyline distance, capturing lightning bolts
I swear for the fleeting moment I was there
And then gone again.
Camera flash
The millisecond passed
Then I was gone again.

A NiCad battery should never be plugged into energy
Until it’s drained of all its stored capacity
Or it builds up a memory
And run out of its electricity more quickly.
I have a long memory.
Don’t plug me in unless you plan on keeping me.

Mercurial Weather Vane


It’s amazing how my affect can change from one day to the next. I was feeling good about my decisions and pulling myself out of a two year-long rut. I have learned to cherish these moments because it feels like I’m breathing like someone whose wires aren’t crossed and whose heart isn’t two seconds from stepping off the ledge to the pit of their stomach at a moment’s notice. That was me yesterday.

I woke up with a tinge of the dark creeping in through my veins and typical shotgun anxiety I always wake up with. I readied myself for the day to come as I always do and tried to keep my mind off everything with music as I always do. I arrived at work with little to do and, therefore, a mind to wander, which is dangerous for me. The pre-depression mood is a vulnerable state because anything can send me into a spiral. Anything at all. I was low on energy, too, fighting to stay awake at my desk. I just wanted to close my eyes and let everything around me get blown away like a mandala.

My reactions to certain things change in these states of mind. Things that should bring a smile to my face oft bring back memories or just unwanteed feelings. I can’t explain it. I got a text message from a woman I call “mom”, though we have no biological ties. As she is wont to do, she reminded me she loves me unconditionally. That’s a hard thing for me to take normally but, left vulnerable, I hit bottom and fast into the net of depression wired with the electric current of anxiety. I couldn’t cope. I appreciated the sentiment and still do and I’m not minimizing that, but my reactions cannot be easily controlled.

Of all the ways I’ve learned to cope with mood shifts, there are times where I just have to get away and into an isolated environment where I can find a way to shut my brain off. I left work early and went home.

All this to say, everything has the prospect of changing day to day and sometimes even faster than that. There aren’t many people who take the time or energy to even give a damn. That’s fine. I don’t need that kind of dead weight in my life anymore. Life is hard and heavy enough without fairweather friends. There’s not much fair weather where I’m at.

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“Nights Like These”