self-portrait without suicide attempt
by Sheena Raza Faisal
i find fall's first leaf crumpled between my bedsheets,
and in this way i am chosen. the unnamed bird with the gold-foil beak
does not throw itself from my roof, either, and i am chosen.
the fat mice do not fling themselves onto the tracks.
no fallen figure sweats in the heat of the coming train,
no small body is digested in the belly of the engine, not even mine.
i dart quickly in front of cars that do not speed.
another apparatus of death refuses to carry out its function.
again i attempt to prove myself unholy, and again i fail.
those birds do not know how to kill themselves.
i make some small, unthinking prayer to be chosen,
and in this way, most of all, i am chosen.
green turns slowly to red before i cross the street,
and that is the way i choose.
Sheena Raza Faisal is a writer from Mumbai, India. Her work has appeared in POETRY, Vinyl, The New Yorker, BuzzFeed, and elsewhere. She currently lives in New York.