Poet Responds to Suicide Note By Tamara Miles

Poet Responds to Suicide Note

I’ve siphoned back into your veins
the scarlet pool from the bathroom
floor, melted the metal of razor blade
to a shape it was better suited for, a tiny cross
or a silver-slippered earring moon,

and from your wrist erased that wish
to end the glittered storybook too soon.

I’ve objected to the silent, sealed-up car,
let the garage door roll its eyes back,
cleared the poison pipe, waked you
from an endless nap, and with the ragged
holy breath put your foot down on the gas –

You’ve driven away from this haunted town
safe with your seatbelt tightly strapped,
and in your hand a hand-drawn map
that points away from side-road trees
you’ll never hit head on.

The plan you made is gone.

I have locked your throat against sad pills.
The bottle in your purse, it spilled,
swallowed up by silent drains
on every shady street this year.

I have reverse engineered
your machinery of sadness with its angry gears.

The lying mirror in your mind un-cracked,
your moody calendar un-blacked, and in
the greedy ground I’ve put my shovel deeply down,
dug around the roots and brought you back.

I’ve put your unread books back on the shelf
for you to read tomorrow, and removed
from your own emerging pages
every single bookmarked sorrow.

By Tamara Miles


Tamara Miles teaches college English in South Carolina. Her writing has appeared here and there including in Fall Lines; O’Bheal; Pantheon; Tishman Review; Animal; Obra; RiversEdge; Feminine Collective; Thistle; Riggwelter; ELJ; and Apricity. She is the former administrator of The Curiosity Salon, and host of an audio literary journal called “Where the Most Light Falls,” at SpiritPlantsRadio.com. She was a 2016 contributor at Sewanee Writers’ Conference and a 2017 resident at Rivendell Writers Colony.

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