I Wanted to Die Pretty [Poetry from College]

September 23, 2018

Before I swallowed the pills

I matched a turquoise sweater

with pastel beads

because I wanted to die



But I got scared and called for

help when I started to lose my breath


Streetlights blurred

past a splintering headache that sawed
through my ribcage and numbed my legs—

chilled by biting December wind


Street pavement glistened, slanted

as if it had been painted outside the lines

with black shoe polish


Slippery ice

I wobbled losing balance

when a man in blue scrubs sat me

down and asked how many



I knew because I counted before

devouring the last supper


spread out like a mismatched quilt

stitched with everything and nothing



Remembering the blurry shape of faces

and a woman yelling that I swallow.

Swallow, Erin! Swallow!


Hard plastic I swallowed.


Two days later I woke up

in a small pink room

to the smell of wet food that

had dried again—

trapped in the hospital walls


of the heart floor

a machine attached to me beeped



while a lady with a chart asked questions

I became aware of a man siting with his hands

folded like Abraham—


My dad realizing

it wasn’t time to give me back



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