The Unsent Letter

by Kameron Powell

If you’re reading this
Then you’ve accomplished
What I failed to
You’ve found me
You were able to pick apart the pieces
Of my personality
And put them back together
You puzzle master you
Or you could be a stranger
Happenstance putting you in front of these words,
By Chance
With you knowing nothing
Either way I empathize
For I too find myself
Looking into my eyes
And putting the pieces together
But not being able to see what I’m looking at
I get so lost inside my own head
That I built a maze in it
Just so that I feel like
I’m good at something

People tell me that I’m the strongest person they know
If I am, then why
Am I not strong enough to uncork the bottle
That has my feelings in it?
Then why am I instead
Thinking about shattering
The bottle into the tiniest of pieces
And swallowing them whole.
Just so that when I spit them out
Something that comes out of my mouth
Will finally mean something.

If you’re reading this
Then please tell my mother
That I love her
And that I’m sorry that
Her little boy
Doesn’t want the life
That she gave him anymore
Let her know that
She was an amazing mother
That her hugs could bring
The continents back together
And her laughter could melt the world away
That the love that she gave me
Was the best gift that she could ever have given.
Make sure that she knows
That this was not her fault
That she is not to blame
For how hard my demons fight,
Because she is the reason,
I even know how to fight in the first place.

I hope my grandmother reads this
I hope her dark Mississippi skin
Soaks up the ink in these pages
So that she knows that
I loved her and that I wish
I was the man that she saw me as
I hope she reads this
So that she can live easy knowing that
Her grandson tried
That he appreciates her
That he’s thankful for who she was
On those hot Mississippi days
And in those cold Chicago nights
I want her to know that
Just because I want to embrace Death
Doesn’t mean that what she’s done is pointless

A part of me hopes that
No one reads this
So that it’s easier to bury me
Easier to let my name go
Like doves in the wind
Easier to let the syllables
Of my name fall like salt into soil
Never to grow flowers
In anyone’s mouth ever again.

If you’re still reading this
Then I ask you please
Do not cry
Do not weep
Do not shed tears
For I was loved
And I did love
I was cried about
And I myself did cry
So do not mourn
Do not grieve
Do not bury me with regret
For just because I wish death upon myself
Does not mean that
I once did not live
And at some point succeed.

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