When people kill themselves, they think they’re ending the pain, but all they’re doing is passing it on to those they leave behind.
Jennifer Michael Hecht is the author of Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against It. Thank you, Jennifer, for giving me permission to share "No Hemlock Rock"!
No Hemlock Rock (don't kill yourself)
by Jennifer Michael Hecht
Don't kill yourself. Don't kill yourself.
Don't. Eat a donut, be a blown nut.
That is, if you're going to kill yourself,
stand on a street corner rhyming
seizure with Indonesia, and wreck it with
racket. Allow medical terms.
Rave and fail. Be an absurd living ghost,
if necessary, but don't kill yourself.
Let your friends know that something has
passed, or be glad they've guessed.
But don't kill yourself. If you stay, but are
bat crazy you will batter their hearts
in blooming scores of anguish; but kill
yourself, and hundreds of other people die.
Poison yourself, it poisons the well;
shoot yourself, it cracks the bio-dome.
I will give badges to everyone who's figured
this out about suicide, and hence
refused it. I am grateful. Stay. Thank
you for staying. Please stay. You
are my hero for staying. I know
about it, and am grateful you stay.
Eat a donut. Rhyme opus with lotus.
Rope is bogus, psychosis. Stay.
Hocus Pocus. Hocus Pocus.
Dare not to kill yourself. I won't either.
"No Hemlock Rock (don't kill yourself)" by Jennifer Michael Hecht from Who Said. © Copper Canyon Press.
Reading to the Core has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Catherine!