The news did not seem real at first.
It had to be a joke, a cruel and heartless joke.
She thought about how Millay had said
that things in death are neither clocks nor people, but only dead.
And she wondered how many times she had hated him
and how many times she had wished him well,
and if the good outweighed the bad,
and yet how could it because he was gone.
And she wondered: could she have done something,
could she have known or seen some kind of sign
that said he was not all right,
that he was trapped,
that he was so low even death was better.
And she was so angry.
She might have helped if she had only known.
To her, death was the worst of all.
A miserable, despicable life was better than dying.
And she would have fought for a low and terrible life.
But he took it all away from himself.
He gave it all away.
He made himself be inextricably broken.
I will never hear his voice again.
I will never see his pulse in his throat
or smell his smell.
I will never be able to joke with him or call him a jerk.
He will never blow smoke in my face
or offer me a drink
or feel the sun on his skin ever again.
He left me.
And my heart is bleeding
and the blood will never stop.
It’s pouring out,
someday it will slow down I know,
but it will always be an open wound shedding drop after drop.
How long had this been coming?
How long had he been so tired of life?
And she wished she could have saved them all
from this pain that will never be dulled.