b'A virus brought nations to their knees.A weight pressed down ever slowly, ever steadily to a distant, drowsy chant of routine.Lows By Dalton Brantley20A bout of depression brought the metal cogs of a mind to a somewhat sudden and screeching stop. A mental illness metaled and melted a once-well definedIt starts as nothing more than a whispernormalcy.Stretched so thinly almost unnoticedA series of unresolved conflicts broke a bridge of trust. Not all at once, buta combination of tiny cracks brought it crumbling.Numbness ventures the bodyA cancer nearly moved a man off an irretrievable edge. AStarting with the tips of the fingers cavernous canyon opened up, threatening to swallow us all alive andmiraculouslydid not. Soon exhausting everything in its wakeA deadlier disease even than these has slithered into ourIncapable of holding onlives, slipped into our beds, slid under our covers. It deftly whispers dark and deadly secrets into our deepest dreamsAn unconscious state of mind washes overas we drift.Anchoring one within an ethereal planeAt the cancerous cavern, the darkness says, I own you. The ability to distinguish thoughts or surroundings goneAtop the rubble, the darkness declares, Irreparable. Amidst the throes of depression, the darkness isolates. You are alone.Tremors echo through my body The ability to stand lostAmong the monotonous moments, the darkness plants impossible promises. Follow thefun, the extraordinary, the unique. Find meaning in your experience and neglect all else.And fear arisesAt the onset, the darkness says Buy. Control. Bow down.One of tunnel vision and deafnessThe darkness wages war, and weOne of convulsions and incoherenceOnce powerless, now armed,Once enslaved, now free, As does guiltOnce children of darkness, now children of light, Guilt for the burden of diabetesOnce devoid of meaning, now abounding in purpose,The burden and fear it stokes in those you loveOnce alone, afraid, adrift, now wholly secure, sure, and satisfied Must fight back. Lows take hold in many formsBy Madison Smith Strickland14 | 37 |'