In Memoriam

by krstaten


And then it was a Thursday afternoon,
and no flags hung at half-mast,
and the sun in all its disrespect
refused the proper mourning garments

and the part of your memory that longed for death
no longer knew its name or home. And you learned

that some things can give and give
and not be hollow, that some hollow things
can choose to stop the echo inside themselves.

Is there a word for a dissection of the self?
Scalpel ruthless and wandering, I-shaped
incisions jagged and gaping, pouring tar instead of blood?
Is there a word for the way your organs
betray you, go septic, just from meeting air?

You learned it once; to crack yourself open,
to find catharsis in the strange, transient decay,
until like the ouroboros you fell into yourself.

And then suddenly it’s a different day
and you are young, and you are screaming,
and the part of your memory that longed for death
has learned a new defiant longing, has learned
how many words there are for self-dissection,
all the forgotten lyrics in a lifetime of music.


A childhood hero of mine took his own life a couple weeks ago. It took me some time to even attempt to put my feelings into words, but here’s the attempt, anyway.

RIP, Chester Bennington.