Once I'm Gone

I have irrational fascinations with lives lost too young. The suicidal student. The father of three who loses the chance to dance at his daughter’s wedding when they find him face-down in bags of powdered drugs.

Four teens in a Jeep tumble down a ravine, one of them wearing a seatbelt. Two of them died instantly and the third’s in living hell.

These machinations of chaos have taught me not to fear premature ends- “don’t look for sensible explanations in an asylum”- and brought a sort of peace to my own.

But on the day you
discover I’m spent,
my body dissents,

heart gets
bent too far
out of its
original shape
like an aluminum
spoon,

know if I ever
believed in
anything, my love,
that person was you.

Everything I own will be
yours- these tomes and stories, for when
you’re alone and

shoring up on
wreckage you believed only
existed in fiction,

where the

friction of waves
scars white flesh of
coastlines in
their way.

I never want my
last words to you
compromised by their
timing,

blinding
the message,
pre-empting your design
to achieve great things.

I’ve left you hundreds
of thousands of them,
maybe
millions or more.

Now go,
my child,

I believe
you were born
to succeed.

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