Ten Reasons

I wake
With death in my mouth.
Before I wash it out,
I start with
Ten reasons why
I cannot take my own life.

One–Suicide is selfish,
Especially for you.
You help so many people.
What would they do
Without you?
Two–Who else
Can make Algebra fun?
All your students need you.
Three–Who would get friends
Out in sun
Working dirt into green things?
You are the only one.
Three–if we lost you,
We would miss you
And some of us
Might even cry
And wonder why
You never asked for help.
Four–It would break more than
Your best friends’ bones
If she lost you.
Five–Your death would ruin four
Dungeons and Dragons Campaigns.
Six–Your sister might kill herself too.
Seven–Your parents
Would blame themselves
And feel like failures.
Eight–you would never get
To finish your chapbook.
Nine–you would never
Fall in love again.
Ten–the people you love
Would feel even worse
Than you feel right now.
Ten reasons
Head the list that
Gets me through the day
To remind me
To smile
And say I’m ok
Because words
Create my day,
And if I say I’m okay
Ten thousand one hundred
And eleven times,
Maybe by the end
Of today
I’ll start to believe
What I say.

Lives within my mood disorder
Lives inside fast food orders
Lives through nicotine
As I inhale
Lives alongside my wails,
And I wonder why
I still want to die
When I have
So many reasons to live.

I say
I’m being selfish
And my mirrored eyes
Say I love you, such lies,
And I brush my teeth,
And I still want to die.

I quest for more reasons.
11–Didn’t finish my
Last will and testament.
12–Need to tell friends
To take out
Life insurance policies
So at least someone
Could pay for my funeral.
13–They need to know
To incinerate me
And scatter my ashes
On Rocky mountain heights
And read poetry.
14–I need to make
My electronic archives public.

I haven’t done any of this.
So I’m not ready to die.
I don’t want to die.
I swear
I don’t want to die.
Believe me.
I don’t want to die.

One friend
Sends a morning picture
To wake me up
Of a rocking horse
Fashioned into an
Imperial walker,
And it goes onto my list
Of reasons.
Fifteen–I would never get
To watch Star Wars again
If I died.

My litany continues
All day long
And I add to my list.
Maybe if I add
Enough reasons
I will start to believe
From my own lips.
Maybe I won’t need
To wash death away

Sunlight tickles eyelids open
First thoughts go like
Why did I wake?
I wish I was dead
No. Why can’t I get
Those words out of my head
I can’t die
People need me
My mother would
Lose her mind to grief
If I died,
The world would cry.
I think about

All these people need you.