I Tell Myself
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.