Suicide lives with me. She sleeps in the same room,
kicks her laundry under my desk, and leaves her dirty
dishes beside my bed for me to trip over every morning.
In the morning when I wake up, sometimes there will be
a moment when I almost believe that she’s moved out,
but then I will find her in the kitchen at the table reading
newspapers, pointing at dead people saying that should
have been you. She makes breakfast but I don’t eat it;
my throat is full of too many razors, my throat is full
of glass, she’s telling me to swallow, says it’s the only
way out, the only way I’ll ever escape you, the only way
I’ll ever be loved is when I’m dead, she’s ruining me,
now I’m ruining everything. At dinner one night you
ask me if I’m depressed and I burst out laughing. There
is a pair of blackened bananas on the counter, a mountain
of filthy clothes behind my door, I haven’t showered in
a week—you should be able to smell her in the air. She
is spiteful. You say I won’t have you committing suicide
under my roof so the last night we live with you, I try
to kill myself. Suicide is disappointed; my attempt is
pathetic, cliché, the warm bath, the kitchen knife, all of it.
After sitting in the tub full of rosewater for hours, I get
drunk on vodka and then go to bed. In the morning you
leave early for work like any other day. I sleep late. I
don’t eat. She reads the newspaper. When you come
home, we move the boxes into my new apartment and
then you leave. Suicide watches you go and says to me
you know you won’t ever be rid of him. She winks.
Holds her hand out, an offering. I don’t take it, but she
makes her bed on my floor just the same.
Martina Dominique Dansereau is a disabled, non-binary lesbian writer and artist whose works centre on trauma, marginalisation, and love, particularly as they intersect with gender, disability, mental illness, and LGBT issues. When not entrenched in academia or creating art, xe enjoys reading books with xyr snakes, who often fall asleep between the pages. You can find xem on Twitter and Instagram @herpetologics.