Howard Firkin
Not being seventeen means suicide
is out. It seems I’ve lost the will to die,
but is this living? Have I found a lie
too powerful to ever be denied?
The vital signs are there, but life is not?
It could be that this breathing’s not my breath—
perhaps some other creature puffs and gasps
and I’m the life preserver that it grasps
and uses while denying me my death.
That would explain why I don’t feel so hot.

I’d like to take a tablet and lie still
and close my eyes and find that dark, blank rest.
If anything’s alive and has the will
to keep me going—fine, and all the best.