When you’re in love with someone
whose father has committed suicide, you demand
that the world be gentle with her now.
The world, of course, will not listen.
Still you go through the motions—smile to her
assure her of the small, human ways the world
will bend softly, now that you have set it straight.
And suddenly, to spite you, suicide shows up
everywhere. No story is safe, and people
these days will kill themselves over anything:
the home-team loss, stalled traffic, sappy love songs
overplayed on the radio. You find yourself turning
the conversations, the channels, storming out together
midway through movies. At the rental store, hand in hand,
you learn to predict nooses and medicine cabinets,
suicidal tendencies coded in DVD descriptions.
And you lie: The reviews got this one all wrong—or
—I’ve seen this one, darling. It would put us both to sleep.
Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2014
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.