roaring ambulance sirens
chill me to the bone
they always make me wonder
if you are dying behind those flashing lights
you were never very stable
the strings holding your soul together tended to break often
like the morning you ran
through 5am dusty gravel roads,
until your legs collapsed out from under you
a string breaks
your dad screamed a lot that night, didn't he?
his glass seemed to refill itself
over and over and over again
scotch and whiskey slipped into his words, like always
alcohol strengthened his grip, didn't it?
or maybe the afternoon,
at 2:35pm on a Sunday,
when you filled notebook after notebook
with reasons why you weren't worth everyone's time
the pills they gave you never really worked, did they?
your mother cried in her bath that night
she clenched her hands into fists,
and pulled her head below the water
she almost forgot to come back up
or possibly the evening,
behind white and sterile walls,
that your little brother,
had to say goodnight to you in a hospital bed,
asking if you were sick
his big brother couldn't handle his demons, could he?
he was only nine then,
but your mom didn't tell him
that she found his hero bleeding out,
in their brown two-story house
your father blamed you, didn't he?
it was your fault for being so weak
that's what he said in angry whispers,
the minute your mother left your bedside
could it have been the night,
seven years ago this month,
when your cousin couldn't take the voices in her head
the house was quiet that day
until a gunshot echoed down the stairs
and the atmosphere turned to copper
you didn't fully understand, did you?
the police officers crowded in your aunt's living room
questions and tears and badges,
a monotonous start to your development
angels can never handle being on Earth for very long, can they?
I think it was the twilight,
when the city hall clock said 3:06am,
as you sped past it on your way to the bridge
in tears, hearing your father's voice in your eardrums
"what kind of man shows so much weakness?"
"what are you good for?"
"what a shame you haven't succeeded yet."
his tyrades between liquor bottles always lingered
"you're never good enough"
"you're a waste"
you stood on the edge of that bridge, didn't you?
you were ready to do it
you were tired of being sick,
and sick of being tired
but you promised your little brother,
you would help him pick out school supplies
he was going to be a sixth grader,
school was only two weeks away
you got back into your car, didn't you?
you woke up the next day
and pretended everything was fine
spiral notebooks were on sale
your brother bought a new kind of pencil case,
with as many jagged edges as your unstable soul
it's been a year since then
and every time I hear the whining,
of ambulances rushing through town,
I get scared
that your last string finally