Postscript to a Twenty-Volume Suicide Note

Postscript to a Twenty-Volume Suicide Note

By Lucy Wainger, 11th Grade, Stuyvesant High School

2015 Gold Key in Poetry

(Image Credit: Eclipse by Allegra Brogard, 11th Grade, Lycee Francais de New York, Gold Key, Photography)

        after Amiri Baraka

I look up
the stairwell
and see only empty
space through which to
fall/ And I look down the stairwell and see only empty space through which to fall
And back away from the banister, now it’s just the same, the family will send
Their feeble condolences and I will pour them over myself in angry red
Bliss/bless, someone else figure out the difference, someone ask
What was “going through my head” but how can I answer that when I never
Even knew my head was permeable, is that like a kind of diffusion,
How skin can let some things go through, the things it wants to, now
Does that imply skin could let everything go through if it wanted to,
But then my question is who decides, is it the whole skin that goes
I WANT THIS BACTERIUM NOT THAT ONE a joint effort type thing
Or is there a single or group of cells that holds the all the other skin
Under its control, could make it waver surface tension if it wanted to
Or could just let everything go through, dust motes, mosquitoes,
The hair on the floor of the barber shop, Baby are you sure you
Want to cut it all off?, little blue-green gemstones not yet discovered
By humans but which still float in the thin white air anyway as did math
Before we touched it, and as did language before we stuck our
Tongues in it, and as did eggs and sperm before anybody figured out
How to fuck, which was approximately three months ago, and which
Is probably the closest you can get to someone, or at least to
Turning into what’s inside you, and I guess today what’s inside
Me is resin and tulips and the acrid taste of not regret but a
Grinning version of it like Don’t you know they’ve already got you?
Written on the bathroom stall wall, don’t you know you’re made for
Falling, you do it every night into sleep and if you’re lucky some hazy dream
Maybe I’m just tired of it, maybe I wanted someone to catch me
By the scruff of the neck or the lungs or the hands, maybe I miss
The four calling-cards of white, snow/salt/milk/cum and your hands
Are white plastic, and your coats are very white coats, like dishcloth
Ashes, like SNOW GENERAL ALL OVER IRELAND, the faces
In the yearbooks and the man saying you’re-them-you-just-don’t-
Know-it-yet, so what if the lights are all ugly now, we’ve watched
This movie a thousand times, don’t you know the ending won’t change,
Don’t you see it still isn’t over?

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