The Black Napkin Volume 1 Issue 5 - Page 17


Litany for my suicidal youth

Mother forgive me. The things I have swallowed here

on the bathroom floor, the faucet drip-dripping

through the awful silence, my skin and blood

on the tile. My quiet steps down the halls

so that I would not wake you.

Mother you have crawled through all the dirty light,

through the halls of Heaven to get here, to reach me

shaking on the bathroom floor.

Mother tell Father in Heaven I am not coming home.

Mother you took his light inside of you

and held it pulsing there, beneath your ribs,

beneath your hero’s shoulders.

Mother you pushed me like that light from your body

your body like an angel, your body illuminated

by golden fire.

I am trying to be brave.

I am trying to scrub clean the bathroom tiles

of my body, my blood, the things I swallowed here

and heaved up.

I am trying to make you proud.

Mother, you named me,

not Father in Heaven.

You have been leaving clues my whole life—

the way you pushed aside a curtain of light to see me,

the way you pulled yourself through Heaven,

the way you took the light inside of you, and let it go—

and Mother, forgive me, they will bring me home.