DEPRESSION SCREENING TEST
- I do things slowly.
A: Just a little.
The cuff of flame wicked away from the candle has bruised my split lips—like how time gashes white-bodied shower drains and the honed finger with which I soak in boiling prayer becomes another weaponized instrument. Today, I fall victim to the bedstead.
- My future seems hopeless.
Often, when my mother leafs through large, clustered stacks of paper and prepares them for the shredder, I imagine skin. And when the shortness of breath paves way into my throat, I cleave marriage between mind and respiration like tattoo against arm.
- The pleasure and joy has gone out of my life.
When I draw back, there is a rhythm to hurt. I crush my nose against the thick plank and sketch a map of wiry skin. Oftentimes, there is poetry in the chapped debris scattered among the thistle. Like the pungent smell of scorched notebook pages.
- I have difficulty making decisions.
A: Quite a lot.
Like when God gave me a throat and I found no answer—only the grinding of despondency against tissue. I transmute into a crater—something comprised of fractured phrases and a child’s waddle.
- I have lost interest in aspects of life that used to be important to me.
A: Very much.
How lover gives way to spade and picks at what was thigh but is now bone. How lover is no longer lover but space welled in hot breath.
How body is no longer body but the stroke of sticky earth.
- I feel fatigued.
This mussed curl is occasional, trying to find name in a sunken chest. I have swallowed the way in which blanket becomes flesh and body sinks into mattress like a metaphor. Then, it becomes a swollen memory. Then, a thread. Then, nothing.