Nov 03
poem challenge: Afterlife
Peter Gustafson's picture



I stand

Like a statue

My feet implanted in the ground 

The homework, exams and essays, due weeks ago

Piled on top of my white desk

So old the paint barely remaining                      

My parents  

Asking me to try harder,    

To socialize more, 

To live     

Like I’m really living 

Not just existing      

But I don’t want to anymore

I can’t anymore

My father shouting for me to come down for dinner

Almost distracts me 

But not this time

I won’t let that happen this time

I turn my head

It hurts 

As if I haven't moved it days

I peel a foot from the floor it was buried in

And begin to lurch towards the door

I slowly turn the knob, 

Run past the stairs,

And dive into the bathroom

I immediately lock the door

It takes a while 

But then I look up 

Only to see warm

Wet tears

Rolling down my face

And dripping of my chin

My hair is tangled 

I forgot about it days ago

It didn’t matter

Nobody knew me anyway

So what was the point

My gaze begins to wander

To the medicine cabinet

I lift 

My weak shaky hand

And rest it on the yellow cabinet

I blink

My vision blurred from tears

I pop the cabinet open

The smell of grape medicine we use for my little brother when he's sick

Fills the room

I pull a family picture from my pocket

And place it on the mirror

My hands start to move before I tell them to

I begin

Grabbing, shaking, unscrewing


I start lining them up 


By one

Across the counter

I hear my mom shout

“Millie? Are you ok up there?”

I don’t answer 

I begin 


As much as I can

Into my mouth 

I chew,

And swallow


My mother starts running up the stairs


The door knob jiggles

She keeps shouting my name

My father joins in

Banging and shouting

After about 30 minutes

I collapse 

My eyes flutter shut as my parents finally burst through the door


They’re too late

I let the darkness consume my body 

And float


Into oblivion  
Peter Gustafson's picture
About the Author: Peter Gustafson
Peter Gustafson
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