A Defense Against Demons and Depression


United States
37° 39' 13.302" N, 121° 40' 26.1732" W

I walked a thin line
And sometimes I stumbled,
But it wasn’t until the day I spiraled into imminent darkness,
That I opened my eyes and saw the surrounding loneliness.
The black air I could taste,
And the fear and despair I could touch
With shaking hands.
At first, with arms outstretched,
Dirt walls encountered nails unkempt.
The dirt soon turned to concrete, though,
And I recoiled in disgust at what I was becoming.
In the bitter cold I gripped myself tightly,
Until the day a clang of ping ping ping resounded
Across towering walls and into my head.
So there it lay, the tip as sharp and poise as could be,
And black encountered red for the first time that day.
I no longer walked a thin line:
No, instead I was trapped inside them,
Glistening, dripping, in red.
The demons raced around my head
Relentlessly screaming in my face,
Until another ping swept into the darkness
And those monsters cowered at this arising power
I now possessed: a choice I would eventually make,
Between staining myself with blood or ink.
It was the pen, or it was the blade.
The racing thoughts did not surface on my skin
After this second item fell in front of unworthy feet.
Rather, they surfaced on paper, and I felt the loneliness lift
As the words slid from my fist.
Now, when wandering eyes read words with roots deep inside,
Instead of gawking at the red lining my wrist, they listen, not shun.
So no longer does black correlate to red;
It remains solely the black a pen manages to shed.
In an effort to control what I could never fully destroy,
I tried the red; but the cure was black alone.


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