Sunday, June 03, 2007

I Tell Myself

I Tell Myself

(for Patti)

I cannot bear to talk of how you died
by your own hand. I cannot bring myself
to cry in front of anyone. My pain is shame;
my grief is guilt; there is no way to blame
this loss on God or fate - and so, each time
I'm asked, I lie. I say that I've survived
your death and life goes on and nothing's changed
except you're gone. I do not speak of things
unspeakable - I mutter platitudes.

I keep the circumstances of your death
tucked hidden with your note. I lick the blood-
stained envelope to seal away the pain.
I tell myself repeatedly that guns
and ropes and razor blades are just the same
as unchecked cancer cells and others die
in self-same ways a hundred times a day.

I cope. (I do not cope.) I comprehend.
(I will not ever comprehend.) I cry.
(I'll never cry again.) And when I'm asked
if I am on the mend, I tell the truth.

(I lie.)


Shell said...

deeply moving and iambic pentameter too! love how V2 controls how it's read to sustain the beat ... and yet mimics staggered breath as well. I also adore poetry that has vignettes within .... how truth (that N lies) is in brackets ...

Lo said...

Thanks, Shell. I've been advised to lose the {brackets} as well as the italics but I'm not convinced. :) I'm pretty attached to both of them at this point.