There Is No Why

If I say
I am depressed
someone always asks “Why?”

and sometimes
there is a “why” as simple
as saying there was a soap bubble,

a rainbow ball
that disappeared before
I could touch it, perhaps, 

or the thought
of an unrepaired mistake 
from fifty years back.

Sometimes the “why”
is a burned bridge or
a puff of smoke

from a ruined hope.
Sometimes, the “why”
comes surging up

from chromosomal
oceans, a wave of regret
for how I was conceived,

how I evolved, who my
ancestors were. All those
possibilities, yet now and then 

there is no “why” at all.
Now and then when 
I say I am depressed

it’s like saying I’m cold
in August, or lost
in my own bedroom.

I don’t know who
I become when it happens
that there is no “why.” 

Is that me on the floor,
me in the corner, me
with my hand buried

in broken glass? Why?
If there is no “why”
there may not be

an “I’ either. I don’t know
how it happens; there are times
when depression is an icy lake

I sink into and disappear,
asking “why” as you are asking,
getting the same stark answers:

cold, dark; unreasoning descent;
eventual surrender.
Which is to say, sometimes 

there’s no answer at all. All I can do then
is stroke for the surface and hope
for a fire on the shore

if and when I break through.
Something to light my way home and then
warm me back to life.

A fire like you, perhaps.
A fire in the shape
and sound of you.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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