Art by Jean-Michel Basquiat
You Really Should See This // by Jennifer Patino
“Some days I can’t get an idea, and I think, ‘Man, I’m just washed up,’ but it’s just a mood.” – Jean-Michel Basquiat
The lightning bugs living in my
arms demand I write to you. A storm
is swirling in my brain, & the
smoky blue tourmaline sky looks
like it desperately wants to cry.
I am trapped in a music video.
All of my favorite dead musicians
sing a song about how they
never thought to call the suicide
hotline. They ran out of time.
Why is it a hotline?
Strangers pull it together to help
their fellow struggling humans douse
their own fires.
They help uncross the wires.
Good listeners are hard to find.
This message flashes across the
screen. It is written in Wingdings.
Hold the line as if it were
your last pulse of life.
The dearly departed drummer tells
me everything will be alright.
I reply –
I can dial for you if you let
me in, if you’ll let me find
A melancholic guitar riff
shatters the room like thunder,
I just drift, left to wonder
if what I have to send
will go over your head,
or will your mind bend?
Will you succumb to the same end
as the barely living, as the gasping undead?