Monday, March 17, 2014

breathe. breathe.
i know it’s difficult when every 
lungful tastes like copper heartache,
and every exhale doesn’t displace the crippling regret,
but darling, you have to breathe.
do not think about blades and bridges,
guns and nooses. do not think about how easy it would be
to scale your school roof and fly.
do not imagine your graduation robes replaced for
funeral gowns, or your valedictorian sister
delivering a eulogy instead of a speech.
do not think about rushing blood
and falling water. do not think of
pharmacies and drugs, and how easy it has always been
for you to spin a lie. do not use 
your writer’s mind
to arrange a dramatic death,
a harrowing discovery.
do not do not do not imagine death.
if you must imagine anything, imagine the way
her face will crumple 
when she learns that you are dead.
your suicide may bring a moment of vicious,
triumphant revenge,
but she will never again be able to look
at an elephant
without flooding the world in tears.
you have never wanted to hurt her like that.
if you must imagine anything, imagine the way
your teacher will destroy himself
out of guilt and love.
he had always loved you best, and the fact
that he hadn’t saved you -
hadn’t even known you needed saving -
will drag him into a bottle and never teach again.
if you must imagine anything, imagine a boy
in a coffeeshop, a girl
in a bookstore.
his ribs push through his skin,
her wrists are marred with scars.
their whole lives they’ll be plagued
by emptiness, a phantom lover,
their whole lives they will miss
someone they never had.
someone that should have been you.
so sweetheart, tuck away the blades,
throw away the pills,
burn the note you’ve already written.
there is so much left to live for.
take my hand, darling.
take my hand and breathe.

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