by Robert Marshall
I would like to say my depression is because of the Amazon. But it’s not because of the Amazon, or maybe it’s in part because of the Amazon. It is, in part, because you don’t call me back. But perhaps you don’t call me back because of the Amazon, because you are depressed because of the Amazon. Or perhaps it’s because you’re depressed for other reasons, perhaps there is someone who hasn’t called you back, someone who is, to you, more important than me, and this has sapped your strength. But of course it’s possible that this person, whose existence I may just be imagining, doesn’t call you because they’re depressed because of the Amazon. I do not, in truth, understand what is happening in the Amazon; I could not, if pressed, explain why or how the forest does—or does not—breathe. Causality is always a story; I believe the one the scientists tell, I have to hold onto something, though really I know nothing about science, nor about the Amazon, nor do I know why you don’t call; I do not understand the zone that’s named your heart. I can make out nothing clearly, there’s just the haze, or maybe it’s smoke.
Robert Marshall is a writer and artist. His novel, A Separate Reality, was released in 2006 by Carroll & Graf and nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. His work appeared in Salon, The Michigan Quarterly Review, Kenyon Review Online, among others.