Melinda Coppola

twenty four may | from the inside out

Melinda Coppola

twenty four may | from the inside out

Can you imagine being in such tremendous pain that the best path to freedom seems to be ending your life?  Feeling so hopeless or worthless that you truly believe the world would be better off without you?  We hear from family and community members and friends left shattered, wondering if anything they could have said or done would have prevented these losses. I can’t help but think of what might have been, if there had been enough help at the right times.

My poem, “Stay”, was just published in Anti-Heroin Chic literary journal. Here’s a link to the current issue— , and the poem itself is below.



I want to dematerialize
and put myself back together
between his reedy young body
and the gun he stole
from his Uncle’s desk drawer
the night they
invited him for dinner.

I want to land hard
between her hands—
the same hands that
had just held
an acceptance letter
for the DC job of her dreams—
and the noose
she’d fashioned in secret
six months before.

I want to hitchhike
all the way back
to Vermont,
grab all those who knew him,
and beam us, every one,
to the edge of that Hawaii
volcano where they said
he’d jumped,

so we could form a human barricade
between his anguish
and that black hole.

I want to sing,
yell, cajole, say
it will get better
it can
I promise you

The world’s gonna need you
next week, next year,
you’re gonna leave a hole
that can’t be filled

and somewhere there is
someone you will meet
who will love you so much
you’ll be wrecked to think
you could ever have left
before you crossed paths

and someday
there’ll be a moment—
a car, a bike,
a wet road
distracted driver—
a child whose life
you will save
whose children
will cure cancer.

I want to say
don’t go.

Not yet.

let’s sit
and warm the ground



–Melinda Coppola



Artwork by Melinda, “Hand of God”, acrylic on canvas


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