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after Emily O’Neill


In the weeks after I become jobless
I forget to schedule when to stave off
my depression. It is winter
and the weather forgets
itself, takes names like sauna

mouth or gust throat and
needs reminders on how to snow.
I write on my resume that
I have forgotten how to breathe,
but swear that I can, that

I have references, have people
to confirm this heart was once
a beating thing. Write myself
into memories as someone who
enjoys work, and is lost

without regularly updated reasons
for denying plans.
(I will not go out without purpose)
Winter names my sadness sweater,
holds me in the web of its

calloused hands, whispers to me
“My sweet, swelter. My night
sweat. Write down in the application
how good you are at standing. For hours.
A skill universally wanted by

the machine.” This is one way of saying
I am more content with wanting
to die, if I am being paid for showing up
to work instead of killing myself.
This is one way of saying

that my wanting to die
does not make for good praxis;
longing for a manager who will
schedule me to not come into
work, but to stay in bed

and pass away. How this too
is a form of labor. This is me
re-entering employment to talk
about how slow winter came
and how we always do so much

tricking ourselves to think
we have not yet blossomed,
we still need to give more over
before we allow ourselves
to take.