Alice White | Poetry
Please allow me this one poem—
I need to know why
she keeps those scissors
with which her son slit his wrists,
trims her bangs with them.
To dull the weapon with use?
Maybe the difference is
he lived. If you had,
would just be knives.
Please allow me this one poem,
no matter how many times I write it.
I’m trying to find a closing couplet
to frame what you did,
but I’d take any end.
There are so many ways
to make an exit.
Swallow a bottle of pills.
Let the engine run in the garage.
Something more peaceful, if just
for those of us trying to live—
Please allow me this. All I’m saying is
I’d rather be afraid of
carbon monoxide than the blade
of even the little wooden knife
in my daughter’s play kitchen.
Vapor. Odorless, invisible. Innocuous
as a ghost. I could face your ghost,
I think, if its heart were intact.
Alice White is a poet from Kansas City who now lives in rural France. She has received support for her writing from the Hawthornden Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and AWP Writer to Writer. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Threepenny Review, The Poetry Review, The Cortland Review, and Barrow Street.