by rachel

one of the last times we spoke,
you told me to
“it’s still not nice having so much
poison flow through your body”
but you forgot
that I’m not scared of cyanide,
half-crushed apple seeds,
capsulized poison —

that the past 25 days,
599 hours
and thousands of words we’d exchanged
weaned me on a diet of affection
that could cause worse side effects when
forced to go cold turkey
than any poison ever could

because between the endless laughter
hiding our faces behind the
of blankets, jackets, bolsters,
and the silent moments spent
watching each other work,
we’d shared stories of lovers-to-be
our ((admittedly embarrassing))
responses when another first told us,
“I love you”.

all that, like a carefully crafted manual,
instruction book, plea,
whispering ‘please don’t do the same’
because we were
both fragile and hopeful

114 hours after I’d told myself to give up,
I am still both
still fragile, still hopeful
like the semi-colon hanging off the edge of a
not ready to let the story end

you told this girl not to
“be afraid if it feels right”
and so she left ellipses after your semi-colon
black capsules of latent cyanide,
potential leaf-carrier
both ready to cease the pain;