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Poem: Daffodils, Deodorant, and You 

I will not die on my birthday. I will not die on my birthday. I will not die on my birthday even though the daffodils are up and alive already on this weird coast reminding me too early that my birthday is coming and that I will be another year older and that I still do not have myself as I want myself. I will not turn my birthday into a death day.

Dumb Daffodils.

I will not have a sobbing phone call.  I will not have a mass email. I will not have a friend find me dead and alone in my kitchen. Birthday cake will not be eaten at my grave over the next few years because I will not die on my birthday.

I will not copy you. I will not copy you. I will not copy you even though I used to copy you I will not copy you this time.

I will not do heroin. I will not do heroin. I will not do heroin because I only did heroin once or thrice with you and I want it to stay there—with you—only you, with you on your wood floor, melted hot in your spoon by your bookshelves in your part of Brooklyn during the day.

I will not do heroin even if it is free. Even if I am sad.

I will understand. I will understand because I do understand. I do understand wanting to die.

I will understand what it is like to be in a sterile new apartment alone in a city with a high suicide rate and have your phone not ring for days. To give it a little shake to make sure it is alive and working.

I will understand sending cryptic texts and having vacant sex.

I will remember your backpack and wear my own.

I will remember your preferred deodorant and vodka brands that you carried in your backpack and carry my own.

I will remember to share my deodorant and vodka with whomever I am drinking or sleeping with.

I will remember how you produced creatively constantly and I will produce my own.

I will remember your hair dye and dye my own.

I will remember your apartment, how it was more like a museum, colorful and messy and I will create my own.

I will listen to your songs and sing my own.

I will read your poems and write my own.

I will write.

I will sing.

I will not die on my birthday.

I will try to be the person you described me as in your poem:
“Small locks fall on shoulders full of faith.”

I will stay small and full and locked and faithed.

I will write.

I will sing.

I will not hang myself on my birthday this spring.
  • A poem by Chloe Caldwell.

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