In loving memory
Your death haunted me for over a decade. Indeed, I am not certain that it doesn’t still. I spent some eight years writing (and re-writing) a novel to exorcise you from my mind. As I wrote it, I vacillated between who would die in the end. Would it reflect real life or would art have its way? I sat in a tub with a razor to see if I too could cut short a little-loved life. I couldn’t. I found I loved those who love me too much to stop trying.
And so, it was always you who put the gun in your mouth and blew a hole through the back of your head such that the casket was closed to the full cathedral of family, former students and former colleagues – both teachers from the high school where we taught and priests from the order you had left behind – all of whom had loved you and still deny to those who will listen any hint that you did not die of natural causes. At 32.
It wasn’t very good. The novel, that is. And I guess it didn’t really help since I continue to ask myself if there was something I could have said to change your mind.
That last day we ever spoke, we stood chatting about poorly functioning copy machines and summer plans and professional aspirations. You complained about bureaucracy and red tape and unnecessary hoops you had to jump through in order to teach summer school. I asked you the name of your cologne so I could buy it for my husband. Kouros. The next day you were dead. I never bought the cologne.
I have wondered over and over till I am sick with grief, what I missed. What clue did you offer that your mind was a kaleidoscope of pain, your soul slowly cracked, about to shatter? What could I have said or done to give you hope? To help you hold on until not holding on was never an option?
Was there something, anything, I could have said?
I’ll never know.
and as the last train approached the station,
i thought i saw her in the blur of people–
men in grey blazers, women in plain suits,
children curled up in the cold seats asleep–
i thought i saw her in a ripped-up blouson dress,
champagne gold the station almost felt warm.
my fingernails dug into my train ticket,
locations unknown, without a time of arrival.
the back of her hand pressed against the window,
her head slumped into her palm unmoving;
firm, slender fingers entangled with waves
of soft black hair scattered on her lean shoulders;
in the crests and valleys of her undraped neck
i found the answer to the endless moments
in my head and the coldness worth suffering for.
(on the station display was no longer today’s date)
the ticket slipped from my fingers onto the tracks,
just as her last train drifted away from time–
Was There Something I Could Have Said?
Was there something I could have said to you that would have made you stay?
Was there something I could have said that to you that would have made you love me again?
Was there something I could have said that would have left my not in a thousand pieces?
Was there something I could have said that would have made me believe that you were'nt worth the tears?
Was there something I could have done to myself to make me believe that what you did was right for both of us?
Was there something I could have said to myself to make me believe that we were better off apart?
when words meet heartbeats
when she sat down on the
bed after her
break up and said
i should have known it would
always just be me and my dog
i wish i had
already been her age
i wish i had said
i will spend the
rest of my life
looking for you in
everyone i see
for the movement in her eyes
and her red hair pushed
back across her forehead
still remind me of a different time
i wish i had said
something along those lines
i wish people didn’t die
because of a loss of hope
a disease and loneliness
I will miss my fiery redhead
Something I Could’ve Said?
Spiraling, spiraling...I spiral into Oblivion
A deep, dark tunnel encapsulates me
Every breath I take, I feel as if I suffocate
Because you have gone away and left me here.
Now I ask: was there something I could've said?
Downward, downward... farther I go
The weight of gravity is overtaking me
And my mind is evading me, slipping away
To a place of no return
...all because you have left me
You've gone away, and left thee.
And now I beg-what could I have said?
I seeth from the torment,
The agony, and disbelief
That where you are
Is no longer here, that you have gone
Departed from me-why, oh why did you have to leave me?
The swirling winds are taking me down
Deep into the abyss of loneliness
The weariness and heavy heart
Is all because I just didn't know what to say
-to keep you here, close to me.
Was there something I could have said...
Was there something I could have said to prevent you from poking fun at my insecurities
Was there something I could have done so you wouldn't scowl at me like that?
Was there something I could have said that would have made you keep loving me?
Was there something I could have done to make you laugh instead of sneer?
The questions circle and circle and circle until I get my answer
Morpheus and the Dove
Was there something I could have said to stop the tide's desire for life erased?
To repel the world from Apollo's scorched embrace?
Was there something I could have said to stop the Lord from trampling on the chasted?
To share the dove of peace with every creed and race?
Was there something I could have said to stop the greedy man from plundering Gaia's womb?
To bring back what has been lost, burned, broken and taken?
Was there something I could have said to stop hasty Death from filling every tomb?
To return the faith of gods forsaken?
Was there something I could have said to stop the churn human spirit like cream?
To exchange war for love, and Death's reprieve?
Was there something I could have done to forge all in my hand, sprung forth from a dream?
Yes, I could, but not in mere words. Change is made as actions achieve.