The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by John Milbury-Steen

On the Suicide Hotline


All I want is -pathy, -pathy, some

sym- and em-, a semblance of co-ache.

I crave a voice debating me, Resolved,

you have a life too good for you to take,


but on the hot line I'm a triagee.

"Are you holding a gun?"  I answer, "Yes."

"Loaded?"  "Yes."  I have to act as if

my desperation speeds me to success.


They make me name the model of the gun.

They want to hear it click.  They want to hear

despair or they will put me back on hold.

I call too often.  I'm becoming old.

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