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Ending Things

Lawyer by profession. Poet by choice. Cat-lover by accident.

Photo by Derek Siriwattasit © 2022

Photo by Derek Siriwattasit © 2022

Alternative Text

I’m thinking of ending things. Of exorcising the
ghosts from these rooms. Of leaving my chairs
free to seat new stories. The spines on my old
narratives are now cracked, leaking ink and
empty memories. Embers in my fireplace
warm me no more, except to keep me
comfortable in my discomfort. No.
I’m ending things.
I feed the fire
& burn the
sage. The
of fumes
chased the
ghosts away
from their places.
Into the night sky they
rose, only to ignite among the stars.
I’ve gathered their light in broken jars to
rebuild my heart and call it a home; to stay,
to love, to own. Where space opens for your
caress and laughter to wander in from the cold,
and trade our feasts till the camellias unfold. For
no longer do I break bread with the dead nor let
their ravens sing me to bed. I have ended things.

Author's Note:

“I’m thinking of ending things. Once this thought arrives, it stays. It sticks. It lingers … It’s always there. Always.”

The above passage from Iain Reid’s novel, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, repeatedly echoed off the walls of my mind and caused a ruckus. A theme of healing soon emerged from the noise and spilled onto the first line of Ending Things, based on the book’s title. That line inspired another, and another, until this poem was born with the right number of fingers and toes.

While composing the poem, I neither read Reid’s work nor watched the Netflix movie adaptation of his book. I didn’t want the story’s plot and narrative style to influence my writing in any way.

Regarding the hourglass structure of the poem, I brazenly stole the concept off Guillaume Apollinaire’s Calligrammes: Poems of Peace and War 1913–1916. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I hope I did a good job, Monsieur Apollinaire.

© 2022 Derek Siriwattasit

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