My devil is a sick and profane companion.
When he wrings out the cloth of my mind
and finds my frequent failures
and pathetic attempts —
on the days my devil is Depression, he tells me
to stop struggling. Relax.
It’s peaceful only by comparison to other days.
Because my devil is not Depression every day.
On the days my devil is Fear, Panic, Anxiety
he runs to and fro,
wildly waving his hands
with my fears and future held,
one in each hand.
He menaces me with them
like a lion tamer with a chair.
At the crack of his demon whips,
my mind obeys and roars.
Some days my lion mind mauls the lion tamer.
Other days it breaks the cage and happily feasts on spectators —
and then my mind purrs until the prods come
and the cage bars slam shut
and they begin to whisper
that this might be the last time.
The last time.
Some days the devil is quiet,
and he whispers murderous pleas for forgiveness.
Other days the devil is loud
and he screams and makes his demands.
But the worst days are the ones
where I can’t hear him at all.
It’s not like he isn’t shouting
and clawing at his face
like a supporting character
in the second act of a horror movie — he is.
My ears just can’t hear him.
His voice becomes like a waterfall
to someone who lives near a waterfall —
it disappears in its barrel
into the background of my life
and I can’t hear it anymore.
It’s too big and powerful,
On those days I can only crawl my way into bed,
pull the covers over my head,
and bury myself beneath his screams
and his wails
and his overwhelming fear.
When I wake up, sometimes I can hear him again.