It's with a ringing in my ears and hands
That I write to you today.
Underneath my fingernails
Are bits of plague and dirt,
Memories of memories lost
I carry you in my heart, Severus,
That which beats not for my own needs;
Only for the tasks which I have been handed
Between the fists and insults
Thrown on Saturday nights
And the ****** ***** I've often found
In my bed on Sunday mornings,
I've found it easier to be alone.
I know what your father did to you,
A young man on the cusp of greatness
Pushed too far and spread
Too thin, crumbling your soul to entrails
Before it could be nurtured to greatness.
When I was seventeen
And told my father I wanted to die,
He told me he would buy a gun
To aid me in finishing the job.
I decided to live to spite him.
When you expressed
The same guteral need to your superior,
He told you that you would be of no use
It is fortunate and, perhaps,
Unfortunate that we both listened,
Disgusted as we were.
I wear you on my skin, Severus,
The effigy of thin arms,
Circled around knees,
A fetal position in the corner, no,
The womb of the house,
A reminder that it isn't where we come from
That dictates where we are going.
Your mistakes are mine,
Though I have reason to believe
That the death toll is a bit higher
There was only one man
Whom I could not save.
But his face blurs the edges of every happiness
I have ever felt.
Do you have nightmares, Severus?
Often I find myself adrift
In a sea of longing,
Anxious to make a connection
Though the dream always ends in me drowning,
Pulling my arms back below the current
Before someone sees me.
I know that you know
The feeling, Severus.
I know that sometimes your cravat feels like a noose,
The buttons on your coat a straight jacket.
How long have you been imprisoned by yourself?
How long has guilt gripped you,
Curled its fingers around your ankles
In the night?
Is the lesson you teach one of redemption
Or one of warning?
The blood in my veins aches for men like you,
A generation of people
Brought to their knees
By ****** parenting
And even ******* decisions.
A generation of men raised by women,
A generation of unfulfilled dreams
How old were you
When you gave up, Sir?
What was the defining
Moment in your life
That made you stand, shreik, and
Bemoan your life?
Has anyone ever judged you
As harshly as your judge yourself?
It is frightening to me
That when you died,
Only a bit older than I,
You had only a single vial of yourself
To give away.
A life of thirty eight years,
Compacted and compartmentalized
To the point of nonexistence.
Don't let me disappear
As you've often let your best men do.
A year ago I started writing open letter poems to the fictional characters I felt strong connections to in order to better understand those feelings. This is the first poem in that series.