I never expected to live long enough
to learn the answer to life, the universe
 
          and everything.
 
I always believed microorganisms 
would be feasting on my organs, 
their steel wool teeth scraping
the bits of meat off my bones,
 
or a box of my ashes sitting on someone’s shelf,
next to a fading picture behind a framed window,
or ash flecks of me floating on the river’s skin
until the ocean waves’ lullaby
 
          tucks me in the sandbar bed.
 
I always thought I’d be stretching from a branch,
eyes bulging, tongue sticking from my lips,
as the manila rope digs its way into my throat,
trapping stagnant air into my struggling lungs.
 
or carving farewell lines down my wrist,
painting the bathtub walls with my illness.
 
But I am a depression warrior, 
digging trenches in the swamp,
with a short handled shovel,
 
combatting the perpetual stagnation,
the jungle bog suckling my marrow,
with words shot from the muzzle
of a brass knuckled tongue.
 
Share: 
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Reddit
Pin It
Embed

About Nathan Tompkins


Follow
1 2
I am a writer and editor for Zoetic Press/NonBinary Review living in Portland, Oregon, though my heart will always be in North Idaho. My work appears in many publications including Menacing Hedge, Dirty Chai, and Drunk Monkeys. I am the author of four chapbooks, the most recent of which are A Song of Chaos and...read more Lullabies to a Whiskey Bottle.
2 comments
Discussion
  2 hours ago · in response to Barry Yeoman

    Thank you very much for your kind words. It means a lot.
  1 week ago
I love this poem. Read it 3 times, very powerful. The last two stanzas really walloped me!

People who liked this also liked

Songs My Father Sang

Poem of the Week

Dumb as a Box

Story of the Week

Bottom of the Ninth

Most Popular

Poem For A Friend In Prison

Poem of the Week

Dumb as a Box

Story of the Week

Bottom of the Ninth

Most Popular

Lackadaisical Old Woman

Most Popular

Living in Disguise