The Words That You Say First and Last
Your suicide note has always stuck with me,
as though I'd pinned it to a corkboard
and carried that board around.
Even when I'd forgotten your name
I knew the lettering, vaguely:
Zell... Zell-ar... Zell-er...
Jim or Rob, or Bob. Or Bill.
It's been years now,
over ten years since you died,
and even then I was jealous of you,
with your fancy career in IT.
That is the crucible, I think:
that objectives and goals
and even successes are nought
without knowing the reasons why,
are never wrought
without the love to give them an engine.
Loving you now is not enough, I know.
But maybe it is in its way,
since Mike Winters and Leon Smith and Shirley Wright
and Janet Mills and Abdul Grint and Autumn Tan
are just names and names and names.
All I really know is this:
this is the most honest poem
that I have ever wrote, or writ,
or whatever you say in poems.
And it's not about me at all,
though it is.