Directions for Dealing with Suicidal Thoughts
Pick up a shaker; no, not that one.
The one filled with salt. Retrieve it
from the kitchen, your dining table,
a tv-tray. Hold it to your ear and tip
it back and forth— notice the pulse
against your ear drum, a brief sigh
and a thump, sigh and thump.
Feel the weight of the grains
as they drop from top to bottom.
Count each one as it descends.
This moment is the present,
and you are shaking salt
to remind yourself
that you are still here.
by Lauren WB Vermette
Editor’s note: Allegory is a most useful technique, and this poem makes excellent use of it.