On the suicide of Sally Brampton
You gave me hope when there was none,
from the misery in the mother and baby units
from my child's extraction, enraged breasts
useless. It was death, childbirth.
I too sat on the beach, at Southbourne
suicidal, with remorse reeking with illness;
I dug my fingers into the dark, cold sand,
and tussled with the need to stay awake.
I suppose the beach at Hastings was your choice
of a satisfactory sea, sheet still in the darkness
with the sanctity of surf, returning to shelter
or was it forseen in those salty tears shed alone?
We shared so many similarities of our sickness
of resistance and struggle within our strong souls
urging us to undo. And then we climbed
back up, an ill-defined slope until
you, at last, have done what I have longed to do,
to put an end to this senseless insoluble trial
that floats like black holes in the brain. And keep on
collapsing, not with the promise of new life
which never arise as stars in the Universe,
but the dustbins of the earth; empaths who soak
up the troubles of an undeserving world
into their ancient oracle souls.
And here we'll sell, ourselves out, not caring
whether we live longer or turn to dust, do housework
make dinners, hold hands, seize moments
from the diabolical odds of mental distress, leaving time
to measure the lives who remain unrealised;
the kids left behind, and wives and husbands angered;
and they'll die, like a shadow of their
former selves, just as if Sally never existed;
but I will not forget her, or why,
because I am her and she is I.