To Someone Who Is Hurting

I’ve read your poems one by one by one by one.
Most are good
and some are not
and some are perfect through and through—
but all are real and really burn
until my eyes sting from the smoke.

I bet (its just my theory)
you write the best ones on your worst days,
and that’s an evil kind of irony,
It would be easy to think,
“I need my poems, so I need my pain
And I am both.”

And its true
that a good poem can give meaning to a bad day
but I think (for what its worth)
that a good day is better than a good poem
being happy is better
than being talented

Which is only to say
that you are not your poetry
and you are not your pain.

And with such honesty
you have time and time again unveiled
a secret truth inside us all:
that there’s a part of us that wants to die
that wants to suffer
that wants to be alone
that wants turn a back to the world
face in the corner
hating everything
especially ourselves.

But I hope (for my sake as much as yours)
we can remember
that part of us does not.

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