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July 25, 2010 by · 2 comments

David Chorlton

Photo: Matt From London

Before we know it, the subject changes. Nobody
intended to bring this up, but suicide slips
into the room as an uninvited visitor
so we let it happen, make a place, and sit back
as it dominates the conversation. We all
have a story. There was the performance artist
who was always so funny until
humour couldn’t save her, the confident
and accomplished woman who drove
to the Ghost Ranch and strung a rope
on one of its beams, and the friend who couldn’t stop
getting married who threw a big party one day
and her life away the next. We’re here
to talk about literature
but drift into the danger zone when we read
about the Russian poet who went home and it wasn’t
home anymore, so she left forever. That leads us
to dark winters and the way springtime
breaks a spirit grown accustomed to cloud cover
or how depression bides its time
coiled inside a person’s smile
until it’s too late, which in turn
carries over to the question
of whether we could have intervened, and so on
until we feel inconvenienced and open the door.
Enough, we say, you’re selfish
and want all the attention. Go to Vienna
or Seattle, where you won’t be conspicuous
and the rain falls primarily
to wash your memory away.

Categories: Frontpage · poetry


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