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It Starts and Ends With Death

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Below is the poem entitled It Starts and Ends With Death which was written by poet Katie Pukash. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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It Starts and Ends With Death

I barely knew him,
met him through a friend,
saw him at a birthday party,
and my friend told me he really liked me. 

I went to treatment for an eating disorder
before we started talking.
The emptiness in my stomach from the anorexia
told me it might be beneficial to get to know him.
He told me he would be there for me when I returned.

I came home with healed scars and forgotten innocence.

He called me one night, drunk,
telling me his cousin had died from a heroin overdose. 
I couldn’t help but feel sad for him.
We met on the bridge
that crosses the canal between our houses.
A beer in his hand
he slurred his words and cried to me.
I didn’t know his middle name yet,
not his address or how many siblings he had.
I liked his facial scruff,
and the way he cried to me 
without even knowing how to correctly pronounce my last name. 

I stayed until 5 am. 
Laying on his couch,
just starting to get to know each other. 

We fell in love.
For eleven months if my memory is right. 
We smoked Marlboro Reds together
on his front porch red cushioned swing.
He protected me from my demons,
kind of like how a barbed wire fence
protects the inmates from making mistakes.

He was my first love. 
I think. 

We wrote daises of words on paper
and he drew his love with a pen on my heart. 

It ended the day my cousin’s grandmother died. 
I never realized that our relationship
started and ended with death.
Maybe that is why in the end we were so bitter.

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