Preface To A Twenty Volume Suicide Note

By Amiri Baraka

for Kellie Jones, born 16 May 1959

 

Lately, I’ve become accustomed to the way
The ground opens up and envelopes me
Each time I go out to walk the dog.
Or the broad edged silly music the wind
Makes when I run for a bus…
 
Things have come to that.
 
And now, each night I count the stars,
And each night I get the same number.
And when they will not come to be counted,
I count the holes they leave.
 
Nobody sings anymore.
 
And then last night, I tiptoed up
To my daughter’s room and heard her
Talking to someone, and when I opened
The door, there was no one there…
Only she on her knees, peeking into
 
Her own clasped hands.