“No title”, when words dissolve in the whirlpool of deep depression
Hazed feelings of anguish spew all over my room
To one corner lies a whirlpool of my frozen tears
To the other is blood that trickled down my wrist last night
as I tried to take my life again.
This morning, the echoes of night rage from failed attempts
to finally bid this earth goodbye tunelessly buzz in my ears
The noises in my head grow louder each minute like August rains in green spaces
I want to cut my head off.
I tensely pace around, trying to outmatch the thoughts
that have decided to stage a marathon at the back of my mind.
See yesterday I was broken, I was down in the dump again, seeking for redemption
Chipped pieces of me kept falling off my body to the floor.
Depression swung by my room again and cuddled me.
Usually when I need arms wide enough to hold my kind of pain,
the only arms that show up are those of depression.
Last night, I was losing my mind a bit, if not.. re-losing my already lost mind
I was tired of fighting emotions,
fighting to see my “happy” become happy once again.
Lately I have become a statue of pain, a fiery dungeon of dementia
People ask how I am doing, and with a quick smile and an animated tone
I deliver my favourite line “I am fine”
Because how do you explain this particular brand of sadness to people
who never understand that a lass of African origin can get depressed too
people too quick to tie signs and symptoms to particular ethnicities
and lash out “black don’t get depressed” at the slightest frown you make.
But… aren’t we all just human anyway
Don’t we all have chemical imbalances at one point
Or get trashed down by the very people we expected to be holding us up
Doesn’t love turn sour, don’t we fail in the very moments
when the whole world expected us to be their saviour
don’t ghosts of past failures come back to haunt us
doesn’t time seem to rushing by while we constantly get stuck to one unpleasant stage in life?
Aren’t we all just human anyway
I am tired, alone, weak from letting too many midnight tears take a stroll down my cheeks
My demons have taken a greater part of me
I am just a soaked up body
Drowning in wishful thoughts, in anxiety, in insanity, in issues I don’t know how to explain,
in nostalgia, in hurt.
So I have them.. All of these emotions.
I wear them on my body, pack some in the pockets of my jeans
give others a seat at the round table that is erected in my mind each day
when my three other personalities and demons gather at 4am to have peace talks
You will hear again from me tomorrow
I will tell you about how I survived another murky night
If you don’t, then in the morning, my brother’s voice on the other side of the phone
will announce to you that I have gone to the place of peace, but for now
Read about me on pages like these.
[Courtesy of the author]
Link to the Italian translation
Alum Comfort Anne is 24 years old and is an Ugandian poet. She lives in the town of Jinja, in eastern Uganda, where she works as a civil servant. She started writing five years ago and her poems have been published in Millennial Voices, an anthology of poems from East Africa.
As she told us, the inspiration for the poem “No title” came from her personal experience with depression, when last year she suffered from it for several months and struggled to recover for just as long. Even in a painful journey can be found meaning, as she explained: “There have been a lot of tears, but there has also been growth”.
The title of the poem conveys the difficulty of giving a name to certain emotions and situations: when the soul hurts, even words fail us and seem to dissolve and disappear.