Mom wanted to sign the DNR.
The words slipped from her lips
and I felt two blood vessels pop-
as I stood in that sterile room
trying to maintain my composure,
while some paper handed nurse
too relaxed into the routine to care
kept checking off her list.
My mom has always been a flight risk
a broken promise,
a cut that never healed.
Bleeding out all over my childhood,
all over my pink dress.
“When you’re eighteen, I’m ending this. Me. This mess.”
I’m 24 now
and she’s still here.
Still bleeding on the counters,
still feeling too much all at once.
Coughing up the past,
tar balls of nicotine-
she never thought she would last.
But her broken body keeps weathering the storm.
Keeps fighting for forgiveness.
Heart humming to the sad songs-
Brown-eyed boys sweet talked into her ear.
Depression has been mom’s longest lover.
When the men leave, it’s still by her side.
I can’t imagine the strength it takes to stand
on such a slippery slope.
Depression has waged a lifetime’s war-
it has an army one thousand strong, each armed with mom’s greatest fears.
But my god, my god you should see the way they’ve all crumbed year after year.
30-something Mississippi queer. Bleeding heart with a soft spot for honesty and oversharing. Conquering corporate America and my own insecurities– one day at a time.