you were a suicidal child

You were a very suicidal child.

When you were five or six, you liked to pretend you were a puppy

fuzzy as your stuffed toy. You looped a rope around your neck like it was both a collar and a leash and when asked to tie it, your watchful mother knotted your joke of a collar so that it was much more loose than you would’ve liked.

It irritated you.

Collars are much tighter than that, you complained.

She said something in reply. It didn’t really matter at the time because you didn’t really understand.

(You forgot that language years ago.)

One day you were in your room by yourself.

One day you were in your bed, the top bunk.

(I think your parents were home. They didn’t start leaving you and your brother unsupervised for too long until you were eight.)

One day you were playing pretend.

You liked to play pretend.

(You still do.)

You were pretending you were a dog.

(You never had a dog or a cat and any pets you ever had were not in good hands at all.)

You tied the rope very tightly.

(And you were happy because this is how I wanted it, Mommy.)

But it was so tight, and you couldn’t swallow the saliva your mouth was producing or the air that you needed to breathe and

(You used to talk so much. But now you are very good, too good, at being quiet.)

You woke up and untied the noose.


Before, you once tried to open a car’s door when it was doing 60 on the highway.

Before, you floated off, face up, in the ocean for an indefinite amount of time.

Your parents took no notice. A stranger, (an angel,) saved you.

Now, you spend hours lying in your bed and stare at the ceiling fan.

Now, you developed a habit of pushing your sleeves up to your elbow to dispel the whispers of the masses. This simple action puts them at ease because they do not know much of these things and are concerned only of your arms and wrists.

(It’s not as if there’s anything elsewhere.)


You are only half here. This makes a lot of sense. You’ve been losing yourself from the very beginning.

It is only a matter of time before you’re all gone.

This poem is about: 
My family


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