Sinead O’Connor is Suicidal and Living in New Jersey — Christina M. Rau

A lot of people live in New Jersey,
New York, the tri-State area, and
many of them are fine, and by fine,
I mean getting by quite all right,
eating meals, working the daily
job, going to the beach or the barber
shop, cycling down to the park
and then running down a trail
through woodsy areas. There are people
in the mountains and people digging
holes through concrete right up
the block to lay new pipe down
for utility’s sake sometimes in the cold
and sometimes in the blistering summer
sun. By fine, I mean, just yesterday,
how many years later, they identified
someone’s remains through DNA testing.
I don’t know who exactly the they are,
but they did it, which means they’ve been
working on this for years. By this, I mean
the task of research. I mean the task of
finding out. I mean the task of conclusion.
They are fine in the labs. They are fine
when they find out. They are fine that now
that they know they can lay their heads to
rest knowing. They are fine that all this time
has gone by and only a thousand or so are left
to come to a conclusion. They are fine because
they’ve been gone for over a decade. They are
fine because there’s a tower there now, standing
tall and shining. They are fine because zig
zagging through highways and parkways
backways to avoid the traffic, they are
living here, breathing the sea air,
along the shore or in the center of an island
or on the bridge or in the tunnel between
the two. Some are sad. Some are desperate
to keep up with the busy buzz of midtown
inner state over the border hustle. Some
are not fine even in the face of peace.
They need help. Here they means all of
them. The fine ones. The ones in white coats.
The ones in winter coats. The ones in swaying
dresses and big-brimmed hats. The ones not
yet tall enough to buy a cone over the counter.
The ones who have it all together.
The ones who seem to have it all together.
The ones who will never have it all together.
The ones who have it all only to have it fall
apart. The ones who realize they can never have
it all. It all doesn’t mean anything.
What does mean something is a breeze
on a face. A hand in a hand clasping.
A short note held up on metal by a magnet
that says [_________________________________].
write what’s most meaningful to you here

***

Christina M. Rau is the author of the sci-fi fem poetry collection, Liberating The Astronauts (Aqueduct Press, 2017), which won the SFPA 2018 Elgin Award, and the chapbooks WakeBreatheMove (Finishing Line Press, 2015) and For The Girls, I (dancing girl press, 2014). Her poetry has appeared on gallery walls in The Ekphrastic Poster Show, on car magnets for The Living Poetry Project, and in various lit mags. Her prose can be found on Book Riot. She also serves as Editor for the international literary journal The Nassau Review at Nassau Community College. In her non-writing life, when she’s not teaching yoga, she’s watching the Game Show Network.