Christopher Scherer


American Suicide - Poem by Christopher Scherer

Madness isn't catching, it's only rising to the
Plagiarized insanity, blinking from the bridges:
a jumper. gone.
Leaning on a ledge, leering twelve-stories down
Upturned tenement faces, screaming,
'Jump! Jump! Jump! ' The gun
Closed in cosmoline and honey - safety - fires.
Not to go alone - never, ever.

As rapid as dropping; solid as concrete.
Howling sirens - windy - missed? Maybe.
Windows rattled; alternatives shattered to pieces,
Prismed in an ashtray.

Caught, cuffed, confessed, convicted.
Sentenced, stripped, strapped and salted.

Seconds last forever - everlasting
Father, free us from our sins, grins,
Boils, wens of change and eczema.
Witnessed.
Fingers, aged with wisdom, clutched tight
Round the handle.
Cocked.

Madness isn't catching - it's falling.

©1990

Topic(s) of this poem: suicide

Form: Free Verse


Poet's Notes about The Poem

Suicide is as much a cultural as it is a personal phenomenon. The Japanese prefer to commit suicide alone or in a secluded public area. Aokigahara Forest in Tokyo - 'The Suicide Forest' - is the second-most popular place on Earth for committing suicide. Americans, however, when they choose to commit suicide in a public area, seem to prefer to take as many people with them as they can; whether those victims are family, friends or random strangers.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 30, 2016

Poem Edited: Sunday, March 13, 2016


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