A Suicide’s Room

I’ll bet you think the room was bare.
Wrong. There was a chair with a sturdy back.
A lamp, good for fighting the dark.
A table, and on the table a telephone, and I don’t remember what.
A bookcase and an open door.
And an address book in a drawer.
You think our addresses weren’t in it?

No books, no pictures, no windows, you guess?
Wrong. A comforting Encyclopedia Britannica
nestled in the shelves.
Mahler and his Resurrection.
Joy the spark of gods.
Churchill stretched on a shelf in life-giving sleep
after the labours of the War.
The moralists with the golden syllables of their names
inscribed on finely tanned spines.
Next to them, the Spy’s braced their backs.

No way out? But what about that door?
No prospects? The window had other views.
His one foot still on the chair.
And one fly buzzed – that is, was still alive.

You think at least the note could tell us something.
But what if I say there was no note –
and he had so many who loved him, but all of us fit neatly
inside the empty envelope propped up against a cup.

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