Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
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Suicide Cascade

The saddest time in my life was also the time the most people said, you look beautiful.
There was a poet I would meet for coffee, he was married,
he wanted to know would I have an affair, would I, what was I doing,
he eyed my well-turned runner's legs

                                                           There was a poet who killed herself

The last time I saw her she made a wide generous gesture, arms outswept,
in a room where people stood strapping tape on cartons full of books.

“Four dollars,” said the poet, swung
her arms as if she were walking through a field
of empty Saturday nothing-to-do—

The saddest time in my life was also the time I wrote about furniture,
           the heavier the better.
A butcher block says live here.
Says fish on ice, knife marks, steady steady, loaves of bread.

I mailed myself back from a crater.
                                                       Weighted myself
to the heavy legs of tables
waited for a place to change the ending.

The poet tried to reach her therapist before she killed herself
is a place you can change the ending.

Open her book to the poem about the
evidence, you want ambulance, you want knife marks you want serious, you want serious you want hard rain, noise, turbines, thumbnails

“Come to a party,” someone says to a woman who resembles me
exactly, feature for feature, but isn’t me—
                                                                   on the saddest day of my life
I sit cross-legged at a party, pretend to eat a piece of pie.
Pie: what world is that from?

                                               Turn back one page
to a safety
pin or a spring stroll in the sun that would keep you
from ever walking up to the edge of that poem.

Four dollars, said the poet
four dollars in a meadowful of cows
                                                               four dollars we’re aiming toward heaven
four dollars shakespearing over earth's curve.  end

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