Epic Political Suicide Poem

Epic Political Suicide Poem

By Elizabeth Harper

Suicide plans on post-it notes
scattered on surfaces,
pieces of furniture, countertops
throughout the apartment.
Stashes of pills stockpiled,
knives sharpened, razor blades
bought in bulk, handles of
bargain brand vodka.
A cozy robe.
Should you force yourself
to wash the sheets? Change
your underwear? Does it matter?
Should you care? Could anyone
care less than you? Suicide
as backup plan when
you can’t think of anything
better to do.

Last resort. Snickering snort.
Middle finger propped up on a splint.
Merry Christmas from the bloody stump
of a tree cut down, dying, displaced, withering,
needles drying and falling to the ground
like dandruff or dead bugs shaken out
of some crevice ignored, denied, despised.
Who needs a bomb? Who needs a gun?
You could just stop eating, getting up, trying.

But wait,
maybe there’s something good on TV.
Check your Facebook feed.
More racism and sexism and debates
on what should be considered terrorism.

How can you live in a world with people so stupid?
Begging politicians and gurus to tell them
what to think and how to be and what to believe
when confronted with a barrage of patently false possibilities.

Every ideology self-defeating.
We are shooting our own feet
without even realizing it and
wondering why we are failing
as foot soldiers for the revolution
that, by the way, is not coming
all at once en masse, but in a
multitude of minuscule increments,
backtracking and stammering,
apologizing and grandstanding,
falling back in reprieve, struggling
to get back up again like a toddler ballerina
in a shimmering tutu precariously slipping,
a glimpse of diaper peeking through. Aging like
an elderly grandmother struggling
to walk through the grocery store,
clutching a cane, confused by
ingredient lists and nutrition labels.
How does everything become so difficult?
Is it a lack of vigilance?
Failing to see the big picture,
or missing the tiniest of details?
I’m giving up unless I don’t.
Spending time on the phone
with customer service representatives.
Isn’t there an app for that?

If only getting rid of police and politicians and annoying people
was as easy as deleting an app on my iPhone. It’s so shiny.
I’ll play Candy Crush to distract me from the news
and the loud people on the bus I waited 40 minutes to ride.

Watching the whole mess go down
when the problems are systemic
and the system ironclad and propped up
by the buildings filled with iron bars
paid for with blood and tax dollars.

Close the schools and jails and offices.
Paint them in psychedelic swirls
of rainbow colors, paisley, hearts, and flowers.
Give everyone an iPad
and a lifetime supply of all
the pot and booze and pills they desire.
And a basic income
and musical instruments
and books and art supplies
and French pastries and ice cream.

Getting rid of the guns won’t get rid of the sadness and anger.
Getting rid of the cops won’t get rid of the cops in your head.

Freely distribute poetry on flyers,
and condoms too.
Sandwiches and cheap hotel rooms.
Love strangers as birds in flight,
ships in the night.

Dreamers in plight.

Suicide kids.

Suicide kits should be a constitutional right.

When all the others die from the callous slip
of a back-alley abortionist’s knife
and a paid-off politician’s lack of insight.


Image shows Christmas ornaments designed by Todd Francis.

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