Dying on the Inside


I died the other day. My sister says I only died on the inside,
which makes sense since I’m in a lot of pain for someone who’s dead.
Evidently I committed suicide, the method of choice being a woman
who said she couldn’t live without me then decided to test the theory. I
told her I couldn’t live without her, which is true since I’m dead, but,
only on the inside where it hurts more but doesn’t last as long, so I’ve
been told. You can still do a lot when you’re only dead on the inside.
Watch a movie by yourself, have dinner for one, cry a really long time
in the shower. Unlike dying on the outside you can die as many times
on the inside as you can fall in love, and each time you become a little
crazier, sort of like an emotional second law of thermodynamics. I
sometimes wonder if dying on the outside is a better deal, but just When
I think I’m right, a pretty smile, infectious laugh, and gentle touch
resurrects me, on the inside.

James Lautermilch

James Lautermilch is from Los Gatos, CA. He has published in Modern Haiku, Bottle Rockets, Poet Lore and others.

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