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No one taught me about depression.

By: rose cervantes


I had to trial and error my suicidal ideation.

I had to grow up in a foggy world.

The flashlights offered to me never had any batteries.

My guidebooks only covered family recipes and daughter responsibilities.


Why didn’t anyone see the gaping hole in my chest, the robotic pull

Of the corners of my mouth to say hello.

Why didn’t anyone tell me that to grow up

Meant to face things our parents swept under welcome mats?

I wish someone would have told me

It’s both normal and okay to wake up every day.

Asking for a way out.


I learned about denial alone in the crawl space of our attic.

In my family we don’t hide things in the basement, there are no basements on this island.

Instead, we fill soggy cardboard boxes

And stack them high above our heads.

Let it float heavy above old boards.

Young bones hold my inherited pain.

I am not depressed.

I am not lonely.

I am not important.

I promised I scraped toothpaste

Across each tooth this morning.

Yeah- I totally would have loved to grab dinner,

But I’m so busy.


I don’t know a thing about anger.

They have never visited or called.

I’ve heard rumors

About anger being easier to invite into bed than pain.

I heard

She swims in-between your molars

to fill white spaces with dripping crimson.

But If you met my depression

You would know how sweetly she whispers

I am the only one who could ever love you.

*Live performance on LatinX on WMNF.  Tampa Bay. February 2022. 

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