these words

these words

these are the words

stillborn but lingering

on a broken bough

they hum themselves to sleep

brutal little lullabies

such self sufficient infants

swaddled in vulnerability

in the abandoned nursery

of my memories


these words

these are the words

confined like muddy tides

in the dark canyons

of my eyes

churning to a restless

sort of perfection

so as not to discomfort

the distant sunset

and it’s indifferent skies


these words

these are the words:

you left me

you chose to leave

and by leaving

you have left me

this inheritance

of absence

you left me

you chose to leave

and by leaving

you have left me

these words

a. duncan, 2018



*Featuring self-portraits by Edward Honaker, on his experience with depression and anxiety


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Amor et melle et felle est fecundissimus || Love is rich with both honey and venom

5 thoughts on “these words

  1. I know and understood this poem. Losing someone to suicide can send someone towards a deep felt depression. It hurts and I almost experience suicide myself in my past. I still struggle within to cope with life and everything around me. But, in the end, writing is my way of coping and fighting the good fight.

    I felt this deeply and I feel sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mental health, depression and anxiety are a very real thing. I saw long ago where you took a break due to issues with suicidal depression – and I was happy to see you return. Because you matter. And life is a serial killer. Every day we are trying to navigate a world that is designed with such beauty and brutality. If the scale tips toward the darkness… it’s very difficult to not allow that to consume us.

      Having lost two friends in less than a year to suicide – the stages of grief are so intense. Sometimes I’m melancholy, sometimes I’m pissed off, other times I’m thankful, in awe of the fragility of the experience. We are hard wired to escape pain at all costs and I understand intimately that people who end their own lives get to a point where they can no longer tolerate the pain. So it’s not selfish – it’s an extreme form of pain management.

      But what I will share with you is this – it takes that persons pain and multiplies it for the loved ones they leave behind. We INHERIT that sadness. That’s what this poem is about. What is left behind for us to try and process and cope with. Words, regrets, memories, tragedies, emptiness, anger. Feeling haunted.

      It’s a sad poem, yes. Because losing Craig, and Shawn, was sad. I would have done ANYTHING for them and…. ultimately that wasn’t enough. I wrote this because I needed to express that feeling. They left me. They left me with a legacy of questions. They left me with these words. ❤


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