(Yes, this poem deals with suicide. I’ve been around some things recently that are relevant to the topic, and sometimes I see responses from people who are clearly trying to help but maybe don’t know how.
I am also not an expert on how to respond in the best way, and I didn’t want to accidentally say something insensitive or damaging, so I approached this from the angle of what I would have wanted to hear when I struggled, and what might’ve helped me.)
I remember, bawling on my knees,
I remember staying awake too late,
I’ve been there
I know how you courted the feeling, chased after the silver satin gown rippling over the dance floor
and made acquaintance with their touch.
It’s never easy, is it?
To tell the feeling to sit down in the lobby of your heart
and hang on the phone, hold music ringing
Do their passive poison whispers scare you?
In my memory, you know you should be afraid
but you’re too sad to care.
What’s the point anyway, you think–
nobody giving you a pep talk
ever opened up a door into your heart so they could shoot the feeling dead.
I know, I know,
Anyone can say “you are loved” and never mean it,
anyone can say “it gets better” and never know what ache you walk through.
Anyone can say “it isn’t worth it to go” when they’ve never asked themselves what’s worth living for, then only found echoes, not answers.
I am mad,
at the system
at uncaring words
at people who are supposed to get it but can’t because no one reads minds.
I am furious
at spirits and wishes and soft moonlight that tells you this pain makes you pretty.
I am alive,
you are alive,
if tears keep you sane then keep on crying
if it hurts so bad, I’m sorry all I can do is reach back for you in time
if reasons not to die are all you have to hold to, then cling to them
fight for them
you are strong
you are a mover of mountains
you hold oceans
and I believe God hears if you believe too
I’m sorry all I have to offer is this flicker of hope
but a flicker is powerful
and even when you get too tired to keep searching, I will keep reaching my flame out for you.