by Drea Kato

Before you died, I wanted you to know
a truer and longer lasting love. I
wanted you singing into my ears when

I am sad, which is most of the time.
I wanted you to revel in my joy for
color, my habit of smashing large

mirrors when I am upset, my dead
hummingbird in its glowing green
web. I wanted you to experience

New York and Boston and the other
worlds your brothers went. I wanted
to take your ashes to New Orleans,

toss them into the current of the
filthy Mississippi by the riverbend
where we used to live, and where I

found the meaning of the blues. I so
wanted you to succeed and I so hated
to watch you bleed for years and years

your blood forever refusing to coagulate.
I so hated to watch you poison your body
religiously every waking hour of every

half day. I so hated the men you ignored
me for and finding you’d chugged a couple
bottles of cough medicine again, hallucinating

and babbling nonsense on the living room floor.
I so hated almost every day of my life, every
early morning, every dirty bus ride, my obsessive

compulsive mind, your drugged after school rides.
Before you died, I wanted so many things for you:
a pink carpet instead of a red one, a dope man on

your arm, the money and the freedom to wildly delve
into art. I wanted you to have every day adventures
in Europe and Australia; I wanted you to enjoy more

stomachfuls of pills and mouthfuls of Azalias. I
wanted to watch you slay dragons and win Kung Fu
tournaments, write lovely essays about cognition

and religion. I wanted to see a rock queen bubbling
on stage with your guitar, not foaming, slurring, or
wobbling. I wanted you to remarry somone lovely and

happy and strong and artistic. I wanted you to finish
school or fuck school and I wanted you to write a book
about your wild starry life. I wanted to give you magic

to hold in your purse or in your hands, so you could
look at it glisten whenever you got sad. I wanted
literally everything for you, even grandchildren, even

glorious gowns, even a few of the planets in your backyard,
even now. I wanted you to have classic novel romance, I
wanted you to have everything that you ever wanted to have.

I wanted you to live a life so beautiful that it would
bring tears to people’s eyes, but instead you finished
yourself off under the feet of your family, in the dark

basement where you used to hide.

2 thoughts on “Oxymortia

  1. Very painful, very personal, saved from being too personal by the throng of detailed imagery, which for its specificity nails the experience in our hearts. We can recognize this. We can cringe at the possibility of its happening to us, or actually happening. A fine stanza sense helps both isolate and enjamb the details.

  2. i didn’t read the entire poem but i like what i did read- a confession of a vast amount of pipe dreams. i think we could all come together if we opened up this way.
    but here’s what strikes me as a type o: ‘finished yourself off’ totally blueballed me. that expression is a major pet peeve of mine. i already understood the reality behind this, and perhaps at the end the speaker wanted to make a sudden turn and express they, subjected to grief and ambushed, are angry. but ‘finish yourself off’ ‘off myself’ things like that i feel are aristocratic-poetic (?? shakespearian? i can’t think of the word i’d like to use) attempts at meandering around just letting it out and it never sounds angry. it feels supressed. i feel it would of been explosive if an outright ‘you just had to go and fucking kill yourself’ was used.

Leave a Reply