Preface: They say children of suicide are three times more likely to follow suit.

I used to write about pain
Until one day I saw it for what it was
A desolate hotel with mosaics of rejection on the ceiling and doubt infested walls
Where each night I’d lay with no choice but to stare down my demons
Until the walls whispered me to sleeplessness

For some pain becomes a comfortable cocoon
But I knew I needed a change of scenery
So instead of simply hoping for different results
I started making different choices

Instead of darkness I chose to see the illumination between the cracks
in floorboards of my heart
Still creaking from the weight
of the sudden loss of my mother
There are those of us who carry our losses in our throats stifling our own ability to breath

But that which does not kill can be bandaged, glued and duct taped
And so we choose to carry on
Patting ourselves on the back
As if the alternative to that choice
didn’t carry such finality
I’m no stranger, however, to such decisions of mortality

I remember it like it was now
My body a stapler, folding at it’s hinge in my cubicle at work
A sudden sickness surging in my stomach
Like consuming love past it’s expiration
Sent home to recover, only to discover my mother had just returned from taking my dog to be euthanized

He’d become incontinent
And my mother’s own worst fear was living to be old and decrepit
So she thought she’d spare him the embarrassment
You see, my mother was a woman of conviction
And when her life arrived at a similar crossroads
She made a familiar decision

But I don’t want to write about pain
I want to write poems that inspire
And on the good days I think I might actually have something to offer
But on the bad days I think the last thing the world needs is another snake oil salesman pedaling himself as a wizard
HBO showed us what Oz really looks like
It isn’t pretty but my mother taught me there is no ugly like indecisiveness

So I don’t make decisions
I make marks
I tattoo my intentions on the face of fate
And build scrap metal monuments to hope from the rails of life’s roller coaster
But most importantly, no matter how breath-taking the peaks or how entrenched I become by the depths of the valleys
I choose to keep on breathing


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