naked

my depression does its seasonal shopping

every third day of the month

slightly stingy, slightly anxious- looking for the sales rack

I humor it, slip dollar bills in its back jean pocket when no one’s looking

in winter,

the clothes are dark, dark and snug like midnight dreaming-

it comes to visit me swaddled in soft wool cashmere and cotton,

holds me close, smelling sweet with an underlying hint of

spice, and snow

it soothes me to sleep, wrapped heavy and familiar, warm

but in the morning, it doesn’t leave.

in the morning, it nuzzles my neck, clasps my shoulders, I feel its heavy bones woven between my arms

time stops and flows- without me, I lose track of minutes and hours.

I brave the silver chill of winter, I sit up, in defiance of my creaking back and

it pulls me back down, obnoxious, warm and fierce and fervent.

spring begets loneliness, and it dresses all in black and grey, generic t-shirts and scuffed high tops- a hint of cigarette smoke stuck in the skin of its wrists

it comes to me, sad and humble, it tugs at my heartstrings and I let it stay for longer than originally intended.

it drinks copious amounts of black coffee and occasional shots of scotch, nibbles on its nails- it watches me sleep, eyes bloodshot with insomnia, mouth a rigid line and

it makes sure to stay close, it buries its nose in my hair and I know, it’s becuase the smell of fresh grass and earth awash in rain and sun and flowers breaking through the soil- that’s the smell it cannot abide, the smell that coils in its stomach, makes it nauseous and bloated in the night time

my hair smells of regret, Garnier Fructis shampoo and sleepy linen.

Spring is when it needs me most, and almost coaxes me to love it.

summer, it dresses in open slick fabric- a stickiness to the silk, my least favorite season.

it comes restless with the heat and golden sunlight trapped between its shoulders

it come angry with the airless longing and hungry for companionship

in the summer, sometimes, it feels as though it is eating me alive

what is hardest to talk about are the times it ambushes me,

naked.

often late at night, a clench of heart and jaw, and then,

the awfulness of its skin flush and cold, pressed against me-

its heartbeat is sharp, digs through my ribs, my lungs hurt with its presence.

there is something unforgivable and uncompromising about its nakedness-

there is something in it that breaks me.

it makes me cry,

the tears salty and secret, spasms against my throat

morning the nakedness brings shame and surrender

morning holds an oppressiveness to it, and derision.

I never learned the secret of clothing all that golden, healthy skin- it sets my clumsy attempts of dress on fire

and, with it all,

I burn.

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