Homicide, Suicide, Plea by Steve Passey

I don’t understand suicide.
Homicide, yes.

(False bravado now)

Who hasn’t wanted to choke the shit out of someone? Choke them until they plead with their eyes, watch the light go out and they are gone. Holding on to them dead until the sweat pours from our brow. Fuck yeah—Give me some of that. But we don’t, because rules, you know.

(Real despair now)

A suicide, no, a suicide hides, leaves the world to the false sympathies of people who never knew them. You walk through that door but you can’t close it so they pretend to know you, to have done something for you. They hold you up like an ad for their own sentimentality. A suicide is owned by people who hadn’t talked to them in five years.

That’s them, not us.

We can see you forever in the frame. You are not gone like you thought you would be. You were with us with raised hands, at our best when we were winning. You are in there in our breath while we cried close together because we lost. When did losing become something to be ashamed of? You told me that. Don’t say “next time” and not mean it. So we few who knew you, you own us, there in the door frame where you crossed, where we raised our hands when we won, where we held hands when we lost. Where there is always we.

Steve Passey is from Southern Alberta. His fiction has appeared in Canada, the USA and the UK in such as Minor Literature[s], Big Pulp, and Existere Journal. This is his first published poem. Tweet to him @CanadianCoyote1