Loss

The Poem I Did Not Write

I’ve been going back and reading old posts, which I never do. My mind has been revisiting the things I used to feel, and I happened to be led there. It might not be a good idea, but it is a good reminder from where I came. I’ve been reading a lot of my posts about suicide, and my attempts. One, which I wrote on the anniversary of one of my attempts, I intended on adding another poem to, but it seems I did not. So, I want to add it now.

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The Poem I Did Not Write

I see my life in seasons

unfolding behind me

like landscapes:

rolling hills with greenery,

the brilliant colors of trees in fall,

unexpected snow,

or sunsets over water

in my rearview mirror as I drive away,

and it is gone.

I revisit these places

that once were home.

Each previous address.

The walls, they do speak.

The men that came and went;

The labor it takes to remove the smell

of vomit-drenched carpet;

The ghosts that waved good-bye

when it wasn’t my time.

The echoing of sobs.

 

I am making this journey in solitude,

but aren’t we all?

At the end of the day,

it is only ourselves

and God.

And those who drop in for a visit

once in a while.

 

I’ve spent years wondering

if my wails will rattle these walls

long after I am gone.

Will I haunt this place

like it still haunts me?

 

When I was 12, I wrote a poem

in which I stated

“I was meant to die by my own hand.”

I have not forgotten the line,

it rings loudly in my mind

like a catchy tune

that you cannot shake.

And the only way to ease the urge

is to listen to it

one more time.

 

When I was 31,

a medium told me

that I would not wed,

and those words too,

they will not leave me,

though everyone else has.

 

I never realized until now

That each morning is the clean slate

I was searching for

for years.

That each sunrise is my chance to try again.

Each face I meet, I memorize

inside my heart,

appreciating its beauty,

savoring its presence

before it is gone.

Though I am not sure

whether the recalling

either harms or heals.

 

And this is where I’ve found myself

stopped along the road.

The joy, my God,

is warmth

and light.

It is infectious.

Vibrant and healing!

And I come alive.

It soothes me in the waiting.

It holds me in the dark.

My loveliest companion.

 

And even so,

I still have times

when I can hear the darkness whisper,

calling me back.

And despite my knowing

how deeply it aches

I find myself tempted

to revisit it as well.

 

 

 

Off the Cuff

The men I’ve loved have allowed me

to rely on no one but myself.

You can bare your soul, you know

at the distance of an arm’s length.

It is possible to bask

in the warmth of an embrace, and yet

walk away feeling even more alone.

And yes, I’ve known connection

and heartache

and there are many who have glimpsed

the intricacies of this spirit.

(a vast kaleidoscope of pale purples,

flowing, constantly in motion)

And I too, having seen their own.

It is possible to dive into the pool of love

for a brisk swim

and struggle to stay above waves

that you, yourself, have made.

And it is also true that you can

drown there,

and when dragged out, revive,

still feeling refreshed from the water

left rolling off your skin.

(there is an incredible majesty

it the moment before you succumb,

like dusk has just begun to break)

Reminiscing of your brushes with death

while drying your skin

with towel swipes.

 

I know there are times

when I stare off into the distance

and it is hard to say whether I am recalling

love or loss.

The gut-wrenching kick of solace?

Or strolling down the short path

of memory lane, that I even dare revisit.

 

There are moments in the silence

when I can still feel the touch

of a ghostly fingertip

against my surface of my skin.

And I am forced to open my eyes to the darkness

despite my fear that

I’ll see something standing there

before me.

Finding myself then,

startled by the void instead.