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“a posteriori”

For Sam

Now, I think I understand why suicide is seen by some as murder.
“Self-murder,” the Enlightenment era called it. Self-killing a priori.
When you killed yourself—you were suffering so—

you also nearly took me with you.

Now, when I wake up in the morning, all mornings,
all I want is to wake up with you one more time.
Because if I could wake up with you one more time,

I would tell you I understand. I get it,

the pain, every punishing second one whole lifetime long. I get it,
why you need to go, just please let me hold you until you’re gone.
No one has to know. I’ll say I found you this way.

Just please share your final breaths with me. With me. Please.

In some ways, you were a god. Mine, flawed and human.
You meant everything to me; you gave me meaning.
And yet, like a sentence cut short,

you did not give me the chance

to say goodbye.


April Ford’s books include Carousel: A Novel (Inanna Publications), Winner of the 2020

International Book Awards for LGBTQ Fiction, Death Is a Side-Effect: Poems (Frog Hollow

Press), and The Poor Children: Stories (SFWP). She’s the recipient of a Pushcart Prize for her

short story “Project Fumarase.”



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