Still Life with Antidepressants

The afternoon light lights
the room in a smudged
sheen, a foggy-eyed glow.

The dog digs at the couch,
low-growling at the mailman.
I’m spelling words with pills

spilled consolidating bottles:
yes and try and most of happy:
Maybe I’ll empty them all.

A woman I don’t know
is having a drill drill into her
skull. To get rid of the thing

requires entering the brain.
How to imagine a story
that ends with that ending? 

I don’t know how to live my life,
but at least today I want to. 


Copyright © 2015 by Aaron Smith. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 7, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“Sometimes the best poems are the results of accidents (literal and creative), and that is what happened here: I was consolidating pills from two bottles into one, and I accidentally spilled the pills on the coffee table. It was a dreary Northeastern winter, so I found myself sitting there seeing what words I could spell with the pills. I realized I was having a poem-y moment, and I started writing.”
Aaron Smith