and he didn’t die

She told me this story

about a guy who tried to shoot himself

in the head with a .22

 

The bullet bounced off his skull

and he lived

but there was blood everywhere

 

Suffice to say, it was a wild party

and they had to bring him to a hospital

and someone had to find a mop

 

The girls cried, their boyfriends

or the guys who wanted to be,

held them and told them, “Everything

 

is going to be all right”

while shaking their heads

and seeming all concerned

 

because no one liked him anyway

and they brought up all the other times

he did gregarious things to get attention

 

Like when he punched the principal

in the face but there was no strength

behind it and he hardly made a dent

 

Like when he ran away from home

and nobody even tried to look for him

and he eventually came back

 

He always pulled stunts

so that people could take him seriously

but no one ever did

 

So he tried to kill himself, finally,

in a big party he wasn’t invited to

and he didn’t die

 

And the blood stains are still on the floor

and in that house, the echoes

of the girls sobbing resonate

 

And she always wondered

if she told him that she loved him

maybe he wouldn’t have done it

 

But he didn’t die

and she hadn’t told him yet

because, now, she’s ashamed of it.

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