By Natalie Morales

You try your hardest to stay positive.
You do guided meditations about flying above clouds
and you repeat mantras about OM and your inner power to control everything.
You even exercise, abandoning the American tradition of laziness and obesity
for a person vow of sweat and elevated heartbeats,
but, even after an hour long Hatha Yoga class taught by
a gentle, Persian instructor with gold toe rings,
depression finds you.

It’s been lurking in your gray matter
next to the memory of being born and your sixth grade mathematic skills.
All of a sudden, you feel like you can sit and stare for eternity
until the earth crumbles, and even then,
you’ll forget how to blink
sandpaper eyelids hovering over moist eyes.

Water is tasteless, but not in the usual way.
The tastelessness is personal and disappointing
like returning to a teenage haunt and discovering
the stark contrast of memories and reality.
Interactions with other human beings are tedious and fatiguing,
and no amount of googling in the world can reveal an affirmation
jovial enough to offset your own personal gray cloud.

This is why you write, why you drink,
why you lie awake and listen to crickets
thinking, if it could all be so simple.
If only I were an amorous cricket
making music for my lovers
calling out into the night,
love me, love me, love me.

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