New Poetry Project: "Suicide 17"

I committed suicide at 17, left a note folded in my car on a late October morning, my knuckles cold against frosty windshield as I pressed the paper to the dash. I parked in the high school lot, left the doors unlocked. I was riding with three other classmates to a university workshop, but I would not be coming home. I would leap from a rooftop, walk in front of a bus, selfishly snatch the steering wheel into oncoming traffic.

I left words for the boy I was desperately in love with, who was also poor and from a broken home. He followed me relentlessly, but would never let me in. I would sit on his bed, watch him undress, try not to stare. He would accidentally brush against me over and over, daring me to make the first move. I didn’t blame the boy. I just wanted him to know that I removed the elephant from the room, solved the unanswerable puzzle of us. He would try suicide later, sitting in his car on a snowy side street, confessing to my ghost as the love I had for him fogged the windows. It was always winter between us.

My death came at the hands of a frat boy who kissed me on a dark landing in the student center as I contemplated hurling myself down the stairs. He stood over me with a cigarette dangling from his lips, asking me back to his room, telling me I was beautiful. I did not go with him, but I stood up out of my body, flew into that other boy’s arms, tasted his smoky breath, felt his hands all over me, his hardness exploding against my leg. Then I walked over my corpse and did not look back. I have never wanted to die as much as I did that day when I was 17.

The note lay on my dash all day long, crinkled from the damp morning, turned crisp by the sun. I held it in my hands, read the words as a stranger would. Grieved for the loss, thankful it wasn’t me.

This is the last of four new poems to appear at Modern Confessional and across social media as part of the New Poetry Project 2.0 ©Collin Kelley, 2017


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