You say it is worse in the morning, that as
the day unwinds you come up for air
until you are flying through it, gasping.
You say you are ashamed that somehow
you canít just brave this through
and what if we canít adopt
because of it. What if
it never really goes away.

Your face in the cafť light
is ashen and finely veined
in red as if all your pathways
had opened onto this pit
and I am up on the precipice
cutting my meat, waving. You
make nothing of my suggestion:
we should bone up on depression
through books and other readings.

The other day you hung up
in the middle of a left-hand turn
with options. There we are:

This note to the invisible
fates and mercies of seratonin,
a honk on the horn, a reminder
the void is part, not
separate, of our lives.
Feet wet, casting stones,
words into these dark
and swirling waters
the only leap I have.

© 1995, Ted Lord

Ted Lord is executive director of the Pride Foundation which funds lesbian and gay organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest. His poems have appeared most recently in Kansas Quarterly, Nimrod, Sycamore Review, and Wisconsin Review.