A Field Guide for Blue Girls - Original Poem

By Jasmine Green

TW: Depression, mental illness

Untitled c.2016

How to recognize a depressed person:

Look for the person with a smile made of watercolors

With aesthetically faded emotions, watered down expressions

Pigmented enough to pass for colors, present enough to pass for present

She is the girl who wears buttercup yellows and A-line dresses

Leggings, makeup, no makeup, tight skirts, heels, sneakers, tees,

And sweatshirts thick enough to cover the caverns of her empty chest

Listen for their distinct echo in her voice

She may tie back her hair into ponytails and Afro puffs

Laughs in conversations, an effort to force blood back into the dead black sacks beneath her eyes

She deals in words like tired and sick and low

All of which are true statements

Erase words like sad from your vocabulary, that word is not like the others

She goes to the convenience store late at night

Buys two ice cream sandwiches she cannot taste

Her mouth is too full of ashes

But at least once today she will try to replace it

Her home has pathways

Ground into the floor like deer trails

Door to bed, bed to bathroom, bathroom to bed, bed to bed, bed to bed, turn to left, cry at night

Shallow pools to prune in

Water to wet the dust

Sleep that's not well rested

Her eyes may reflect light but they will not absorb it

It may seem like semantics but be sure to take note of it

She may brighten up any room with the luminescent sunlight of her humor

But notice the blue pallor of her skin

She suffocates under the pressure of silence

Using the power of her inhales to bottle in her isolation

Sealing it with sighs

The blue of her skin mixes in with the black

So that no matter what time of day she will be invisible against empty skies

She may try to seek her own help

But finds herself teaching the nuances of her black body to the one supposed to save it

If she goes missing, look for her in secluded places

But more than likely, she will camouflage in plain sight behind smiles

She may be functioning or she may be performing functionality

It may seem difficult to delineate but pay attention

The more functional her depression

The more jokes she'll make as she sinks in quicksand

When you recognize a depressed person, offer your hand.


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