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dear suicide

how is the war? is it eating?

tell me of the girls charging

backwards into dumb tides

death’s wet mouth lapping

their ankles, knees, eyebrows.

tell me of the sissies like drunk

fireworks, rocketing into earth

afterimage burned into river

& cement memory.

how is the war? does it have

a wife? does she know how

the bodies got in her bed?

dear suicide

i know your real name.

i bind you from doing harm.

i enter the room like a germ.

i say your name, it is my name.

the walls cave around me like a good aunt.

the window hums. the door rocks me.

the dresser leaves to go make tea.

the room knows my name.

it binds us from doing harm.

dear suicide

where are you keeping my friends?

every cup i turn over holds only air.

i jimmy open a tulip expecting their faces

but find only the yellow heart.

what have you done with them?

yesterday i took my body off

beat it on the front steps with a broom

& not one of them

came giggling out my skin

yelling you found me!

not one of them i called for

was already in my hand.

dear suicide

you a mutual friend

a wedding guest, a kind

of mother, a kind of self

love, a kind of freedom.

i wish you were a myth

but mothers my color

have picked ocean

over boat, have sent

children to school

in rivers. i known niggas

who just needed

quiet. i seen you

dance, it made me hard.

i would not deny you

what others have found

in the sweet mildew

behind your ear. i know

what happens when you

ask for a kiss, it’s all

tongue, you don’t

unlatch, you suck

face until the body

is gone.

dear suicide

that one? i promised him

i would kill for him

& my nigga was my nigga

& my word is my word.

dear suicide, where are you?

come see me. come outside.

i am at your door, suicide.

i’ll wait. i’ve offed my earrings

& vaselined my face. i put on

my good sweats for this.

i brought no weapon but my fist.

dear suicide

you made my kin thin air.

his entire body dead as hair.

you said his name like a dare.

you’ve done your share.

i ride down lake street friendbare

to isles of lakes, wet pairs

stare back & we compare

our mirror glares. fish scare

into outlines, i blare

a moon’s wanting, i wear

their faces on t-shirts, little flares

in case i bootleg my own prayer

& submit to your dark affair.

tell me they’re in your care.

be fair.

heaven or hell, i hope my niggas all there

if i ever use the air as a stair

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