my initials are BA. stands for badass
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The Last Semester


These Poems
words that i write
while my body sulks more and more
into the hole of Depression’s sinking sand

as my hand writes
it reaches for you

in sterile scrubs
mini multicolored nurses as design
standing next to big brown trunk of tree
your arms extending like a baseball glove
waiting to catch me
as my small legs
in oversized blue pants propel me from ground to air
your arms hold me only the way a mother can
but your arms now forever rest on your stomach
as you lay 6 feet below roots of grass

as my frail hand writes, it reaches to you
whose departure from my life
throws me into Depression’s sand
suffocating my mouth
preventing words from leaving
forcing my hands to speak those words
do you want to know how my hands use these words?

these words
digging tools that a poetry class gives me
short shovels, small spades, tough trowels
to find a way out of depression’s ditch

but following my mouth’s recital of first poem
the blurry words i use to refer to her
womxn who brings me into world
first arms to cradle me
causes large question marks to appear on page
about identity of womxn
from teacher poet with oversized grey sweater
brown beard

as my eyes outline the swirl of his marks
my heart hyperventilates
fear wraps its strained hands around my shoulder
lays on my back
piggy back position
my body feels heavy
this challenge causes anger to boil between my brows
forming harsh curved lines on my forehead
i prefer ambiguity coddling me in its black blanket
but the word i choose sink me lower into the depression’s
uncertain and dark ditch

my hands fear talking to the paper
using those scary words
words whose hands push out like zombies out of soft soil
words that force me to relive that day
when mother lays in a black wig
with forever frown on her face
holy beads hugging her cold crossed hands
as she lay in a brown box
with gold angels on its corners

my hands fear confrontation with the things
familiar, but cause my body to shake
that i bury about myself from long ago

but as i use these words more often in weekly poems
these tools start to mold to my hand
start to feel comfortable
roll with ease off my timid tongue
lift off without turbulence off my mind’s tarmac

my hands realize to not dig out of depression
but to dig into it
to uncover truths i try to hide under paper piles of work
to accept that my mother shut her eyes eternally
13 years ago
as my hands shovel out more of depression’s sand
they start to see that these words
these tools
can clear questions clouding like fog in my head

as my eyes hear these words dig
i realize i
a stranger to myself
do not investigate the mysteries of myself
but with these words i learn
that escape from Depressions’ sand
does not always mean up and out
with these words
i realize when i dig into depression
i uncover truth hiding like treasure
that i hide many years ago in my youth
truth that relaxes uncertainty’s hand
squeezing the grey mush in my head

it's like the third day of post grad life.
i went home.
i went running at an old running spot.
i ate ice cream with my dad.
we're about to go to monterey.
there's nothing to do right now.

it's very strange because i want to do things, but i need to relax.

Bradley Afroilan