Lannie Stabile

How to Define Depression

The last three movies I’ve watched depict
nature and sexual violence. Been trying to
speak for hours, but my lips are fish fading
in the dirt. My wife holds my head in her
lap, and snot rivers from my nostril to her

There is something broken. A moment ago, I was laughing. Now, I am a berry bush, trying not to be poisonous. I think, I am not good enough. And the sentence wraps my body like a ring toss. Again and again, until
I cannot tell the age of the rot.                     

I splash water on my face, a self-baptized flower, and wipe the weakness away. I can’t help but consider it all a waste of time. I could have been doing more productive things. Like ridding myself of the infected trees. Like deforestation. Like spray painting
a bright red X on my bark.                   


Lannie is shown before a wall of patterned chartreuse yellow. Lannie has pale skin and dark hair, hanging below the shoulders on either side, and held back at the top. Lannie wears round-rimmed eyeglasses, dark pants, a brown belt, and a pale blue collared utility shirt, the sleeves rolled above the elbows. Lannie's arms are crossed, and two bracelets— one black and one red— are shown on the right wrist.

Lannie Stabile (she/her), a queer Detroiter, is the winner of OutWrite’s 2020 Chapbook Competition in Poetry; the winning chapbook, Strange Furniture, is out with Neon Hemlock Press. She is also a back-to-back finalist for the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 Glass Chapbook Series and back-to-back semifinalist for the Button Poetry 2018 and 2019 Chapbook Contests. Lannie currently holds the position of Managing Editor at Barren Magazine and is a member of the MMPR Collective. Find her on Twitter @LannieStabile.