Sonnet for You
There were nights where you couldn’t fall asleep.
You would get up and fold the map so that
Australia met Argentina, or
something like that. You watched as both ends of
the Pacific consumed everything, each
and every country you wanted to see
but had never visited. The only
place you had ever truly known was one
that you invented with neon green skies
and navy blue grass and clouds that were formed
by magic. It’s funny. You always thought
of yourself as a magician. How you
wanted to make the oceans disappear.
TW: Suicidal ideation
i’m writing now to tell you that we make it back alive.
i’m not going to lie and say that it’s going to be easy, / or pretty, / or even that it won’t hurt that much. / ‘cause the truth is / the sun’s gonna fall clean out of the sky and kiss the air empty of heat. / the ocean upends itself, slithers onto the shore / and devours you whole; / a hungry, gaping maw of thrashing waves / and teeth / and a cold so vacant it pulls the iron from your blood— / freezes your tongue to the roof of your mouth.
i know what you’re thinking:
why resist? / why not submit to the amnesia of a heavy current? / why not plummet like the sun? / [maybe salt water alone can flush the grief from your body]
and sure, it might be easier to sink. / to stop kicking your feet and let the undertow take you. but since when have you turned down a fight? / you, with your knuckles pure scarlet / and lightning in the back of your throat. / you, with so many people waiting to pull you back to dry land, / echoing your name across the beach.
and so I’m writing now to say that you’re going to come back— / you’re going to claw your way out of the surf, / dry heaving briny water, / spitting blood, / and so incredibly, breathtakingly alive. / [oxygen like a rebirth]
This poem was written for Suicide Prevention Month.
Under clear purple skies I feel the rush
of butterflies floating and bubbling toward the surface.
Their technicolour wings flapping as I inhale,
exhale the sweet September air.
I feel them converge when I look into your eyes,
beating their wings against the walls of my abdomen
until I can’t sit still any longer,
trying to detangle the words from my head to describe
the pleasant ache of your presence in my mind,
the soft feeling of your warm embrace,
the way my stomach flutters when you’re around—
and perhaps you think about me too.