(Warning: Attempted Suicide)
He was young then,
Too young, his mother’d said,
Two weeks before the day,
it came back in the same velvet lined box,
minus two major stones
that would make such great earrings.
He’d worked for his father’s shoe company,
but his father’d lost touch,
wasn’t considered hip — not any more,
drank, went broke,
and he, of course, with him.
His only sister died of drugs.
His brother of AIDS.
There were no nephews, no grandchildren,
no new family spreading.
And when he’d finally met The One,
it was worse still.
In the service,
they’d always looked and whispered,
sometimes even winked,
as he’d left the showers.
But when it mattered,
when he’d finally found The One,
she’d said it was too big,
she liked surfer hair and shaved legs.
That was finally it.
He’d held the revolver,
like a mirror up to himself,
and pulled the trigger for what he’d seen.
The hammer jammed,
and it blew up instead of firing.
He’d been left scarred out of recognition
but was not dead.
So now, no one would ever look.
He’s in a little room with a monthly relief check,
and the wind no longer matters.
Is that what they mean by peace?
He never thought,
even to this day,
to shave his legs.
Erich von Hungen currently lives in San Francisco, California. His writing has appeared in The Colorado Quarterly, Cathexis Northwest Press, The Write Launch, The RavensPerch, From Whispers To Roars, The Closed Eye Open, Bombfire, and others.He has recently launched three collections of poems “In Spite Of Contagion: 65 COVID-19 Poems”, “Kisses: 87 Love Poems”, and “Witness: 100 Poems For Change”. Find him at https://twitter.com/PoetryForce