Late in my twenties I begin
to understand the appeal of opiates

That the heart, after all,
balls itself into a fist,

too stiff to shadowbox,
to pat its shoulders off and say:

Nobody backs baby into a corner



Altruistic principles aside,
what's the harm in going quietly?

The sputter is incessant:
ribs jawed open in a gasp

the occasional wet slip of air
rattling around the hollow

My body like a clicking pen



I bring to the attention of the jury
Baron and Hanna:
      Depressed participants
      show higher levels
      of egocentrism

You can call me self-centered
but I tell you it's not just me



Sometimes I spend half a night
running through death scenarios

the other half concerned
that when I die, my work dies with me

That's the hard truth:
I care more about me after death

than you



That's the kicker? Ain't it?
Baby, I say, well aren't you boxed

square in the corner?



I live
so that I know
I'll live
when I die

Rhiannon Thorne work has appeared/is forthcoming most recently in The Rampallian, Midwest Quarterly, and Third Wednesday. She also co-edits the online publication cahoodaloodaling with fellow poet-in-arms, Kate Hammerich.

Here's the difficulty about suicide: it is an act of ambition that can be committed only when one has passed beyond ambition. - A. Alvarez.




Copyright 2009