On Being Suicidal

b:william bearhart

When the body says no but you can’t stop swallowing

the circular yellow songs of corvids and cathartes.

I need your hands, not a kidney, not this mind nor muscular

grief of wolf caged up and alone. If only it could regurgitate

a new body from the femur of a deer. But we’ve lost our tongues

to birth such miracles. And now we live with language

inadequate to rebuild our sorrow-busted hearts. I need your hands

to keep the waning harvest moonlight from exposing this sanctuary

of carrion. How sad the song of nightingales I carry,

magpies reciting eulogies only I can hear.

When the cops showed up, I tried to make one hold me.

I begged him to share in this symphony but he said this was a wellness check.

If only he lifted me up into the tree, I’m sure I would have become a robin,

my rust-red breast burning a new morning into existence.


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