Till Death Comes Knocking On Our Doors

Till Death Comes Knocking On Our Doors


Here, even amongst our own

Anything you say of depression

Can be dismissed as Eurocentrism


In the language of all things stereotype

There are mouths fixing themselves stiff

They say


Hey black girl with skin dripping melanin

Where did you get that sad?

Pouring like tar on everything


A sticky mess

What sickness has made your mind home?

Get up and do something


Do you not have food on your table?

A roof over your head?

Air in your lungs?


All that greed is what’s driving you crazy

And craziness is for white people

With all their unnecessary stuff


You’re so unnecessary

So privileged aren’t you?

You have the white man’s illness?


Can you even spell Schizophrenia?

Who are all the people on your face?

You are making the gods angry


You are making us angry

Sing a happy song

Aren’t you grateful?


They will ask you to gyrate

To the music of being here

Like you are so happy to be here


When black bodies battle mental illness

Those that cannot see them

Dismiss them as attention seekers

Till death comes knocking on our doors



Defiant Seed



Before we were older and wiser

Our parents hid our siblings behind houses

With shackles both of mind and body

For the way their minds differed from the rest

Their whole lives draped in a garment of myth


They said

Witchcraft; it has to be witchcraft

How else do you explain

A grown man unable to navigate

his existence?


I say, brave hands

Re-collecting constantly shattering glass

Shards like diamonds

Sticking out from his hands


The glass is his mind

Something broke in there

Someone is trying to survive in there

Someone is alive in there


They said

She is a just a bore

Never wants to leave the house

Let alone the bed

They said snob, I say beauty


Have you any idea how great a

company you have to be

To want to spend all the time

by yourself?


I heard of a woman who can split into

Seven different personalities a day

Each of whom knows of the other like family

A friend, a parent, an infant


And this is one of the ways the mind

responds to trauma

A wound that wouldn’t heal

So the mind splits into different

people to share the pain



An unwelcome guest with no etiquette

So the house that is the mind

Splits into many different rooms

To share the discomfort


I had a friend

Who could paint meticulously

Could create serenading music for days

Before other days came


When even the floor by her bedside

Forgot the crease of her underfoot

At the hospital they cleaned out the wound

Soaked it up in meds and called it bipolar


It takes twelve years for an OCD patient

to get proper help

And even that help costs an arm and a leg

That there are no misconceptions to house that won’t cost us

No lame myths to spread that won’t end us

These are real people with beautiful minds


With an existence so defiant

Like seed rejected by the soil

That grows to be a forest

Like stars in pitch black darkness

Refusing to believe that heresy