Pulling Your Own Life out of a Hat

A poem by Richard King Perkins II

Most suicides begin like a magic trick—
preparation, a few props, the intent to impress.

All a friend of mine needed was a rifle,
some beer and an audience of trees.

When the show was over, there was no applause
because he had only made himself disappear

into the ground, which isn’t much of an illusion
since anyone can do it.

The real magic is in making yourself reappear
before the act is done.

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, Illinois, United States with his wife, Vickie, and daughter, Sage.