Three Ways to Feign Suicide

by 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.
Unlabeled pills, vodka, screwing
whatever recognizes itself in the
swollen whiteness of our eyes. It’s
not the dying, not how, but the
uncertain when-ness. 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


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.