Herman Finley

I didn't tell you that, in the end, he begged
For the end.  Death like the bed after
The bedtime story.  Death like a widening
Crack of light beneath the door. 
He begged them to let him
Go so he could go.  Said I want
To die.  Then said kill me.  Please. 
You and I endure that first pain.  
We just want to die.  People with that
Other ultimately physical agony say
Kill me and know they won't discuss it
In therapy.  Kill me.  I’m thinking
Of him today because I want to die
And I am ashamed to say it.  My thinking
Is red and sticky.  Rather than kill me,
I'd like you to listen as I live
In a perpetual whine.  Can’t I still be
Somebody’s baby?  Say yes for yourself.
Call me some time.  Every day I wish to die,
Remind me how he insisted.
Kill me.  And I’ll live again. 

Jericho Brown, "Herman Finley." Copyright © 2015 by Jericho Brown. Used by permission of the author for PoetryNow, a partnership between the Poetry Foundation and the WFMT Radio Network.
Source: PoetryNow (PoetryNow, 2015)
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