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by Morgan O'Donnell

Is not some gaping black hole
It's not always a handful of sleeping pills
or those blasted bits of brain on the ceiling
Sometimes it's a blind man
hearing the soft butterfly whisper of happiness
grasping too slowly, too numbly to catch it

Sometimes it's a woman in her mid-thirties
with three children and a deadbeat dad
Too many bills and too weary to
stop casual thoughts of what if
my foot misses the brake and I coast on
into the intersection of insurance payments and feeding tubes

It's not easily quantified, identified, nor rectified
with drugs and prayers
It's not some sudden leap into darkness
more like a slowly deepening dusk
with no hope nor hint of dawn

It's like a gentle erosion of faith in self
as tiny flecks of confidence run off
in a storm of waterless tears
down to a muddy lake polluted
with alcohol and Prozac
where the blurred pages of self-help books
float in tiny armadas

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