She proclaims him beautiful
Like an angel, sleeping,
A soft contented smile
Draped like plaster on his lips.
To me he smells sick and wet,
Like dead flowers decaying in the marsh
They found him in,
The anchor wound tight around his neck,
The world entire empty of him,
As he willed it.
I wonder how his hurt felt.
Did it blister like mine,
And bubble up, the pus
Seeping out and clinging to him like
Maggots feasting on his decaying parts?
Was the pain of leaving meant to
Tip the scale
So the pain of staying
Would feel less like suffocating
Than pulling the lever
And excusing himself?
I wonder if there was ever a note,
Tear stained words stitched together
An oft composed letter
That he could not bear to jot down
Because they would think him weak,
And to name his pain
Was to pass it,
And the strong carry the pain
Until they stoop and slide into the grave
Broken by its weight.
I wonder if he measured time
By the numbered days he gave himself
To breathe the breaths he wanted,
And feel the sun he wanted,
And hear the laughter he wanted,
And perhaps they would think of this
And not his absence.
He would give everything
For a small one
Or none at all—
Just a place for himself.
A mind not filled with black
And eternal despair;
A space he must measure in sleeping
His only peace in dreams,
Or dreamless slumber:
For the days are overwhelmed with wanting
And there is no more room for joy—
And what if this is catching?
She proclaims him beautiful.
Perhaps at last he is.