The alarm goes off and I want to die,
I want to slip back into that lukewarm tub
of ectoplasm and comforting nothing,
the dreamless beach of black glass
where the tide has stilled and turned to salt.
I sit up, scrub my eyes, and I want to die,
I think of the gun beneath the mattress,
it’s soft silver metals. I wonder if it hurts,
that deafening report, fired into my mouth,
if I would have time to pull the trigger twice.
I stand up, and I want to die, I want to stop
breathing, thinking, feeling every threat
coming from every direction like sunlight
made of spears. I twist the doorknob
to the bathroom and know I could hang there,
quiet as cotton with a blank blue face,
I want to die in the shower, with its razor
so close to the edge, I want to die
in the garage, with my windows cracked,
home at night with a bottle of bourbon and pills.
But there are these slender threads
looped through my pores,
looped through my veins, my hands, my feet,
tiny acts of kindness, small as a smile or nod,
tethering me to this body, to this now,
strangers or friends seeing me into the future
with their unwitting complacency,
and my wife, turning in her sleep
to throw her arm around my waist,
an unknown anchor in this unseen sea.