One day, while walking down the long, white hallway at my job, the tide overtook me & I broke down crying in front of one of my co-workers, the admission that I was depressed & did not entirely want to be among the living any more barreled like a fearful deer out of my mouth before her & I recall feeling so much shame for saying anything because, being both Black & male, especially in the South, means that it is expected of one to convert the interior of his body into a sealed vault that stands as close to impenetrable as any stout metal that man can make & I, against my mind’s will, allowed the hefty door to open ever so slightly & linger just long enough for my most guarded & precious cargo to come charging out like steam from the wound of a freshly-burst pipe.
Cranes After Solange When I finally recognized what was wrong, that depression had erected a large, brick home behind the bridge of my sternum, I tried to work it away but that just made me even sadder, I tried to pry & plow its grip off the dense floor of my bone, but failed. I tried, in vain, to drink it away at my favorite bar surrounded by four strangers & empty glasses of rum & Coke. It wasn’t until I reached for the white Celexa bottle & its contents that the dark relented, grew quiet like a house that an unruly & unwelcome spirit had been freshly driven out of.
Christian J. Collier is a 2015 Loft Spoken Word Immersion Fellow. He is an accomplished artist, public speaker, and educator who has shared the stage with members of HBO’s Def Poetry cast, Rock& Roll Hall of Fame members The Impressions, and Grammy-nominee Minton Sparks. Some of his works have been featured on The Guardian, and published in such publications as The American Journal of Poetry, TAYO Literary Magazine, The Seven Hills Review, and Freeze Ray, to name a few.