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Damien & Demons

Title: Damian & Demons

By Shawn William

I put the gun to my mouth because

It’s the only thing I’ve eaten in days

My best work is off stage

In front of people who care about me

So I give award winning performances

To convince them that I’m ok

Because being a black man in America

It is not ok to say “I’m not ok”

It is often frowned upon

Shown as a sign of weakness

So instead of self care

We self medicate

Eat unhealthy

Live recklessly

Die in toxic relationship

They say that

“Depression is like living in a body

That fights to survive

With a mind that’s trying to die”

And I can’t lie

Sometimes I no longer have the mental capacity

Or strength to be the “Strong Friend”

Trying to put out everyone’s fires

When I’m living in a smoldering house

Do you know what a cry for help from

A black man sounds like

“I’m good”

“It’s cool”

“Nah for real, I got this”

“Just gon’ keep it pushing”

Little do you know

That I’m pushing everything away





Baby these aren’t vulnerability poems

These are suicide letters

Written with a pen dipped in formaldehyde

With metaphors used as medication

To numb & hide the pain

A testimony

My last Shawn Will and testament

Either cremated or wearing a slim fitted cream suit

in a Mahogany casket

Tombstone saying

Here lies the liar

Failed father

Husband turned has been

Introvert man

Dealing with manic depression

Tone you better keep your promise

Read my obituary

And make sure there aren’t any fake bitches

Crying over me at the cemetery

February 22nd 2016

I was let go from my job

My marriage was in shambles

Got a text from my mother telling me

That she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer

And if that wasn’t enough the check engine light in came on

In a car that I could no longer afford came on for the first time

Aye ya’ll I was done

Ready to quit

To keep it honest with you

I cried uncontrollably like a child

Needing someone to hold me

Because I was tired of holding on

Ready to let life go with these big ass hands

And take an infinite nap

Dying in the bed that I made for myself

But a funny thing happens when you’re fortunate enough to see the sun come up

Go to facebook and see a 1 year memory

of you & your son come up

That’s when you realize

You have something worth living for

And the world doesn’t need another

Fatherless child lost to gunfire

That was four years ago

And I’m not going to lie and say that I haven’t had some bad days since

But I can tell you that I’m still here

I’m fortunate



No, for real "I’m good"

This is dedicated to myself, my former housemate Damien & any person of color male who has struggled or is struggling with depression. You don't have to go through it alone.

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