I Have Suicidal Ideation

by Brigit Kelly Young

but the couch is warm.

the food good.

szechuan noodles from

that place we like.

and still I ideate.

if only I could disappear just once,

get it out of the system,

use one of a feline’s nine lives.

maybe then the laughter

of my girls

and the way they wonder

at the duality of the earthworm

how it splits in half and

becomes two slithering beings, or

the way they hold my cheeks

after daycare on a day

I’ve done nothing

while they’ve learned colors,

memorized layers of the ocean,

maybe then the ideating would stop

its obnoxious lurking -

a friendly enough ghost

living under the bed.

for now, there are no take backs

and it stays. comfortable.

permanent as a palm wrinkle.

lifelines and streaks of fortune.

this is good here. this life.

oh there’s that pain -

always the pain, every muscle,

every old junk memory,

and the ideation just one

of so many ideas ideating

like this one now - I snatch

and toss a lemon

from the fruit bowl

decide we all need

some lemonade for

another sizzling day

of worms and wrinkles

and awe and the occasional

wish that just once

there could be a morning

with no more unmentionables

in the bones

no more ideas

in the flesh

About the Author

Brigit is the author of three middle grade novels with Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan: Worth a Thousand Words, The Prettiest, and the forthcoming Bright (April, 2022). The Prettiest showed up on reading lists from NBC News and Seventeen Magazine. She's also a poet! Her poetry and some short fiction has appeared in 2 River View, The Common, Word Riot, and Burrow Press (forthcoming), among others. After a childhood in Michigan and 15 years in NYC, she now resides in NJ with her husband, daughters, and pet gecko.