Letters Found near a Suicide

To all of you

My little stone

Sinks quickly

Into the bosom of this deep, dark pool

Of oblivion . . .

I have troubled its breast but little

Yet those far shores

That knew me not

Will feel the fleeting, furtive kiss

Of my tiny concentric ripples . . .

To Mother

I came

In the blinding sweep

Of ecstatic pain,

I go

In the throbbing pulse

Of aching space —

In the eons between

I piled upon you

Pain on pain

Ache on ache

And yet as I go

I shall know

That you will grieve

And want me back . . .

To Catalina

Love thy piano, Oh girl,

It will give you back

Note for note

The harmonies of your soul.

It will sing back to you

The high songs of your heart.

It will give

As well as take . . .

To Telie

You have made my voice

A rippling laugh

But my heart

A crying thing . . .

'Tis better thus:

A fleeting kiss

And then,

The dark . . .

To " Chick "

Oh Achilles of the moleskins

And the gridiron

Do not wonder

Nor doubt that this is I

That lies so calmly here —

This is the same exultant beast

That so joyously

Ran the ball with you

In those far-flung days of abandon.

You remember how recklessly

We revelled in the heat and the dust

And the swirl of conflict?

You remember they called us

The Terrible Two?

And you remember

After we had battered our heads

And our bodies

Against the stonewall of their defense, —

You remember the signal I would call

And how you would look at me

In faith and admiration

And say " Let's go, " . . .

How the lines would clash

And strain,

And how I would slip through

Fighting and squirming

Over the line

To victory.

You remember, Chick? . . .

When you gaze at me here

Let that same light

Of faith and admiration

Shine in your eyes

For I have battered the stark stonewall

Before me . . .

I have kept faith with you

And now

I have called my signal,

Found my opening

And slipped through

Fighting and squirming

Over the line

To victory. . . .

To Wanda

To you, so far away

So cold and aloof,

To you, who knew me so well,

This is my last Grand Gesture

This is my last Great Effect

And as I go winging

Through the black doors of eternity

Is that thin sound I hear

Your applause? . . .

To James

Do you remember

How you won

That last race . . . ?

How you flung your body

At the start . . .

How your spikes

Ripped the cinders

In the stretch . . .

How you catapulted

Through the tape . . .

Do you remember . . . ?

Don't you think

I lurched with you

Out of those starting holes . . . ?

Don't you think

My sinews tightened

At those first

Few strides . . .

And when you flew into the stretch

Was not all my thrill

Of a thousand races

In your blood . . . ?

At your final drive

Through the finish line

Did not my shout

Tell of the

Triumphant ecstasy

Of victory . . . ?


As I have taught you

To run, Boy —

It's a short dash

Dig your starting holes

Deep and firm

Lurch out of them

Into the straightaway

With all the power

That is in you

Look straight ahead

To the finish line

Think only of the goal

Run straight

Run high

Run hard

Save nothing

And finish

With an ecstatic burst

That carries you


Through the tape

To victory. . . .

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