lie horizontal, unblinking
stand, mouth gaping, staring at a reflection that holds no expression in return
hold your toothbrush, feel it in your hand then let it slip because even it is too heavy
return to an unmade bed
lie horizontal, unblinking


this is depression


go to sleep
wake in flesh more foreign than the day before
pretend at life, living the coached and uncoached ‘baby steps’
go back to sleep


this is depression


close your eyes
open them
try to see what others see
understand nothing
close your eyes


this is depression


drink coffee but do not taste it
chew flavorless food to the point of maceration, then swallow the juice like you swallow your pride
make art no one understands
pretend you’re happy, become the actor; an understudy for the life you honestly crave
drink more coffee but do not taste it


this is depression


stare at the moon
breathe the night air—and feel, for the briefest of seconds. just feel
name constellations in poetry no one will ever read
remember what it felt like for your father to strike
stare at the moon


this is depression


listen to the chatter of birds
believe their urgency
fall in love
let him in—share the blackest of parts of your soul
watch him leave
listen to the chatter of birds


this is depression


lie horizontal, unblinking
hold your own hand
know your brain is an asshole, but your soul wants to heal
understand you are alone, but others are alone too
share your story
lie horizontal, unblinking


© Grace Black


I also dabble with poetry prompts on Instagram. Follow me there, @graceblackink, for more daily poetry and to play along. Do you dabble in wordplay as well? Let’s create!


Love and Ink,



  1. I want to write an eloquent comment and all I can think of is: Me too.
    I relate to every line of this. My heart is broken reading it.

    The worst of depression is being utterly alone in it, but remember some of us are here in the trenches with you. I’m rooting for you-


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