aftermath

Here I am, Girl in your aftermath
who can’t look at trains
when they pull into the station.
I live in New York City.
I have to take the train twice a day.
It’s been 365 days since you jumped in front of one.
You do the math.
Here I am, Girl who can’t stop writing about you
though there’s nothing new to say, really.
This is evidenced by the fact that
I wrote 10 drafts of this poem
and deleted all of them.

11, now.

Here I am, Girl in your aftermath,
with that money
still set aside in my bank account
to buy your train ticket here
— you know, the train ticket I said
I’d buy for you
if you manged to hang on another month.
There’s probably something ironic about that
whole train thing,
but whatever,
I’m too tired to figure it out.

There goes the 12th draft.
Why do I even
bother.

There you were, Boy,
storm-starter,
mess-maker,
ticking death bomb that left
grief-shrapnel
as far as the heart can see;
there you were, the
love of my life and
the pain I will carry until my own end comes;
there you were, tip-toe-ing on the Amtrak platform,
looking down the track,
watching the train intensely as it came into the station,
watching the train the way I can’t watch the train
anymore
thanks to you;
there you were,
thinking no one
would notice you
gone.

How dare you
think
such a thing.
How fucking dare you.

I’m starting to understand what they mean
when they say it’s normal to be angry
at people who commit suicide.
Sometimes I might even
hate you.

Here I am, Girl in your aftermath
on the thirteenth draft of a poem
that says pretty much the same thing
that the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth
drafts did,
and just like all the other drafts,
this one doesn’t have an ending,
no,
this one goes on
kind of awkwardly
kind of desperately
and very painfully,
like the way you made us do
after you.

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