When all else
turns to shit.
Turn and make
a gratitude list,
Here it is.

Can you manage to see
past the sadness.
Do you still need glasses
to see past the madness.
Can you manage
if I was blind
typing this.

Even when
the world is shit,
make a gratitude list.

Can you manage
never hearing music,
not knowing language
and never hearing birds,
not understanding words.
Sticks and Stones
may break your bones,
but words may never hurt you,
never hearing them
throw insults at you.
Never heard being called queer,
still stinging in your ear,
from 92 to 2022.
But hey with those ears,
I listened to music,
and the birds,
and let the stereo sound
drown out the world
and all of you.

Smoke free
for six years.
I can breathe again.
Medication kind of
has me feeling
stifled in meditation.
Breathe in and out,
when I can,
reminds me I am human.
Let’s me sigh out
the depression
and yawn,
reminding me
I can sleep again.

Where would I be
if I didn’t have them.
A choice to read,
to drown me,
slow my rapid
eye movement,
make the time pass,
learn something.

People to check
up on me.
My wife
and daughter
and Obi.
The only
people I see.

Some who
still call me.
Some who
I remember
and some
who still
haunt me.

Because chemicals
can change
becomes Winter.
becomes spring.
And the city
forgets about me


Jason Wright is the editor and founder of Oddball Magazine. His column appears weekly. His third book, Train of Thought 2: Almost Home is available now at the Oddball Book Store.