After Suicide [In the hallway of life]

By Matt Rasmussen Matt Rasmussen
In the hallway of life
you were a rose with no stem

and I, the janitor sweeping
away the fallen petals.

You said the world revolves
while we ourselves remain

in the darkness of the never-
ending, never-beginning never.

I say that the man who
was humiliated in the second act

and shot himself in the fifth,
stands up, smiles, bows.

The lamp asks,
is it the shadow writing this,

the pen, or their converging?
The paper asks nothing.

Matt Rasmussen, "After Suicide [In the hallway of life]" from Black Aperture. Copyright © 2013 by Matt Rasmussen.  Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press.

Source: Black Aperture (Louisiana State University Press, 2013)

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Poet Matt Rasmussen

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Death, Sorrow & Grieving, Time & Brevity, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Theater & Dance

 Matt  Rasmussen

Biography

Poet Matt Rasmussen was born in International Falls, Minnesota. He earned his BA from Gustavus Adolphus College and an MFA from Emerson College. He is the author of the chapbook Fingergun (2006) and the full-length collection Black Aperture (2013), which won a Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets and was a National Book Award finalist. Praising the book, judge Jane Hirshfield noted, “Autobiographical, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Sorrow & Grieving, Time & Brevity, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Theater & Dance

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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