“Everything has happened.”

–Sylvia Plath

I need it gone,
please, it can’t stay,

I am speaking out loud without
realizing      suddenly snap back to present
in the middle of a dark prayer,
in the middle of washing the dishes
contemplating when and where
and how to do it;
just jubilant yesterday that is what
disease does, it festers
and pokes you when you’re
good, when you have a taste of
joy on your tongue and you’re
ready to sing and  the next thing I know
I’m saying:
I’m going to kill myself soon.
if not today, tomorrow
and I look at my cats
and I make the motions of crying
and remember the end of the poem
I read: think, on the brink of
your death, I am asking you
to think.

it always strikes during my domesticity.
whenever I am practicing chores,
I feel it.
I put the straw down to use my hands
and I feel it:
the interminable prison of head,
of daydream, of coma
that I laugh about in public
but it’s twisting me
in crooked shapes
and I have held the ineffable,
or rather it held me.
an arm around my stomach
near a window,
my mind was blank.

I suffer from chronic suicidal ideation
and I haven’t cried in years,
I begin to the invisible audience.
I’m starting to pace,
lie down plan ways to face
it or fashion the rope
or grab the blade or jump
the bridge or anything at all
to speed up the ending and
I asked if I could please get help
without telling anyone this time
and then  I choked on a cherry pit
causing a panic attack causing a
light cessation of breathing.
you don’t know you value yourself
until you are faced with two options:
let it or fight.
but I called 911
and the EMT took me to the crisis center
when I told them I can’t quite
tell the difference between
fantasy and reality.

the way men think I lie,
they’re right.
I never tell them how many
plans I’ve drawn for suicide.
today, I dropped the straw,
started crying.
and you don’t believe anything I say,
but there is no time to coddle you.
everything has happened.
the thirteenth draft was suicide,
but I didn’t know it yet
and people really do try.
God won’t let me.
 feelings subside.
the way some watched me
suffer, I forgave it all.
the way I sobbed
in the hospital.
the way they said:
it’s not clean, you’re right.
the way the pit lodged.
the way I had been picturing the woman
grinding the cherry
seeds to make cyanide earlier
in the afternoon.
the way I was seeking adjectives
for distant unconditional love.
the way I told someone over dinner
it’s called “The Woman Who
Saw Her Own Death.”
the way endings can change
without warning.
the way I quit my job.
the way it’s so unlinear.
the way God’s sweeping
fingers cradle you in darkness
and something says:

yes, that was the way it was
then, but now we begin
again.
how quickly I grabbed
the phone in terror
implies commitment to staying
here; there is no one
here to comfort
but I hold that

tight at night
like flesh.

12.

 

 

 

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