The first thing said to me
was a request.
The halls were empty but for us and one more,
the linoleum tiles echoing with far away feet.
he asked what the homework had been.
The second thing said to me
was an accusation.
People moved around us in tides of sleepiness,
the ceilings shouted for us to all shut up.
she called me out on the cuts on my arms.
The third thing said to me
was a message.
Music summoned us to class,
teachers shouted for prompt attention.
his glance told me, "have a good day."
The sun shines upon flesh,
bathes it in heat and cheerfulness,
lavishes upon it gifts of light and promise.
The sun shines upon a walking corpse,
skin but a display,
behaving as if alive for lack of alternative.
The wind moves among hair,
covers it in cooling whimsy,
carries it towards peace and frivolity.
The wind moves among exhalations,
each breath but a show,
in an out to pass the time.
The blade sits upon a shelf,
speculates on past and present,
mindless as a thing long dead.
The blade passes through the yielding skin,
each slice like a breath,
anything to feel alive.
I turn off the lights and hide beneath a blanket
laptop closed until I absolutely must open it.
11:21 pm and in comes a figure
to tell me to go to bed or risk the penalties.
He's trying to help me.
The next day in the halls
and there is a figure in a hoodie,
backpack off one shoulder,
and I want to apologize but the look in his eyes hasn't changed
and somehow I know I was right,
that something is wrong,
that the search the night before hadn't been so pointless.
Suddenly the air in my lungs is a brick
there in the hallway,
a sliver of eye contact before I look away
hide my arms when his are on display for all to see,
and I know anything I could say
in that very moment would be
Stop right there.
The screen is glowing white and blue
Don't send another message
not another sticker
not another ****** heart.
I can't stand it.
you love me.
Now take the point
that I'm too tired to ever
say "I love you"
that I'm too sick
even think such an emotive thought.
Stop and leave it at
Add my words
to the list of things which only ever fail me.
Add my strength
add my fingers (wrapped around a pencil)
add my efforts in all regards
to the list.
And while you're at it
to the list of things worth keeping.
to the list of things worth knowing.
to the list of things worth loving,
worth lying to.
And when you go to ask me about him (and I),
remember to add him
to the list of things worth lying about.
Food and cutting
that torture me
I can't go a day
my morbid desire
just how you are this morning.
You wish you were dead
and I don't blame you.
Your hand-written note
and Aspirin bottle
loom large in my imagination.
I think of you
falling asleep to ask Death,
"May I go now?"
and his response
of rocking you in his arms just one more night.
In my mind's eye
your cat (the little black one) watches you
take your phone in hand,
the clock readout "9:10 pm" in its green lettering,
and calmly type your confession.
You are not dead,
but you want to be,
and I grab a wire and some neosporin
because I can just picture
what I plan to do next.