My Golden Sister
(A Golden Shovel poem with a line from Dorothy Parker’s “Resumé”)
By Adriana Barker
In the store, you eye the aisle with razors,
imagine the release, shove aside the idea of pain.
Tales of freedom and pearly gates tempt you
to approach the rivers
to carry your body into an are-
osystile graveyard. You only manage to get one foot damp.
Your shaking hands uncap acids,
causing a splash and a stain.
When you’re gone, you won’t have to clean up after you-
rself. Eye the other bottle and
clatter a handful of drugs
onto the counter, wish to cause
something more permanent than a cramp.
They told you guns
aren’t the way to go, aren’t
glamorous, aren’t pretty, aren’t lawful.
But pulling a trigger is easier than tying these nooses
that unravel, splinter, and give.
Hurry, quick, turn off the gas.
Your sister peeks her head in the garage, smells
the fumes, their awful
stench. She smiles with her whole face when she sees you.
She walks over, climbs in the car, hugs you with all her might.
She asks you about your day, as-
ks you to come watch a show with her. Well.
For today, at least, you might as well live.