The Depression Tests

by Chris Buchanan

Poetry, 2022

They ask at the end

of the depression tests

don’t they

Do you have any thoughts

of hurting yourself

or killing yourself

And they may break a touch

Here goes, be ready, look cool

And I say No –

And they’re back. Relax.

But I’m wondering

Should I finish?

The full answer is No –

Not myself. All of you.

Absolutely all of you.

I didn’t make this thing!

Dug it up, brought the canaries down.

I haven’t clawed out

a hole in the walls, inches back from it,

pressed in,

scented the indent with me,

a warning

So I’m can stay here working it, safe, smiling, name on the door,

mind your head

Breathe

Slow