I attended an all day training on suicide prevention on Friday. Now I'm thinking about the people I've know who've committed suicide. And in particular, the artists, poets, writers. Suicide is quite a commitment. And it's quite a blessing to prevent one.
He could not ask for help. It was not poison that soured
taste when only sour milk was offered. The best moments
were only awful. Life was not salvageable. If only he had cried.
We've not forgotten him, just misremembered. He was unable
to imbibe fellowship, even when we fed him poems he himself
had written. He could not suck marrow from empty bones,
nor bear what wasn’t confessed. The visitations would never
evaporate. Like us, he had long days to live and limitless
narratives to spin. But he only ever wanted this moment to end.
If only he had heard us singing; if the wave had become a hand;
if our chorus had struck his brain waves. The best moments
were awful. He didn't cry. It was only life that was not salvageable.
It was not spoiled milk that left the sour taste when only poison
was available. Only, he could not ask for help.
from Mean Distance to the Sun, Aldrich Press 2013