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I Read a Book The Other Day -- poetry by Cameron Calonzo

I read a book the other day.

The protagonist kills himself, and

it is beautiful. Everybody weeps.

And I mean everybody. Absolute buckets.


That breaks the spell of fiction for me, though.

In real life, suicide is always in vain.

No way to see the fruits of your labor; the means contradict the end.

I have this recurring dream where I actually follow through—

I’m rushed to the hospital, people are clutching-pearls shocked,

but I’m miraculously swept out of the greedy hands of Death

after a couple of minutes without a pulse. Not enough time

for the tears to come, just enough for the disappointment to set in.

You’ve really done it now, you bitch. Another stack of bills.


I act like I’m above it all because what even is there to complain about?

I’ve got a roof over my head and clothes on my back and so on and so forth.

I laugh sometimes throughout the day. It’s really not that bad.

I like to pretend I’m God’s bravest angel on earth, and

that’s why I feel so weak all the time. No fault of my own,

just the work of divine preordinance.


Deep down I know I’ll never actually do it. I can’t even stand

the pain of a papercut, let alone that of martyrdom.

It’d be nice though, wouldn’t it?

Being the only living girl in heaven?





 

Cameron Calonzo is a high school student from Southern California. She currently works as executive editor for Cathartic Literary Magazine, writer for the nonprofit Asians in the Arts, and poetry editor for her school district's arts journal. She has work forthcoming in Eunoia Review.

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