Three Ways to Feign Suicide

by John Sibley Williams

John Sibley Williams

The neon interrupting night calls us.
Behind the only convenience store in
this town built on convenience,
safety, hall monitors, & bright white
fences, we exhaust our bodies. Un-
labeled pills, vodka, screwing what-
ever recognizes itself in the swollen
whiteness of our eyes. It's not the
dying, not how, but the uncertain
whenness. That we may all be loved
like good little sons, but not equally.


There are a thousand ways to say it,
but we'll take touching ourselves or
each other over the world will never
be more than the world any day. As
we sketch schools in dust with our
heels, call our dead older brothers
teacher, burn our returned letters to
god. As we love like unconquered
trees, like hay in horseless fields. As
we yell fire in crowded fires, press
twigs to our temples to mean bang.


It's not the glue holding broken toys
together but that anyone bothered. It
is no bother, sparrow, hurling stones
at you when our candles burn longer
than our hands can hold them. Each
day is the day the earth ends, & then
there's always tomorrow. Morning
needles through night to find us no
closer or farther from ourselves; all
our kicked-out-of-heavenness gone.
What I think I mean to say is, we're
just animal enough to stay.

As One Fire Consumes Another

Last updated November 25, 2022