Had I Known

Had I known that I would't make it around the corner,

I would have stopped.

I would have held that strap close,

Like it was my best friend,

Like it could protect my fragile ears

From the piercing screech of things uncontrolled,

From the profuse stench of burning rubber

And stinging alcohol.


Had I known that I wouldn't ever see her again,

I would have tried to be more patient.

I would have kissed her more tenderly,

Like there was no one but us,

Like there was no such thing as pain or sadness or anger,

So I could tell her that I didn't mean the cruel things I said,

So I could tell her that I love her

One last time.


Had I known that I wouldn't go to work anymore,

I would have worked harder at my job.

I would have taken things more seriously,

Like what I did had purpose,

Like my efforts did have an impact on things,

And my boss wouldn't think I was lazy,

And my coworkers wouldn't think I was stuck-up,

Even though I was.


Had I known that I wouldn't get to eat with my family again,

I would have told them how much I really appreciated them.

I would have told Mom how good her dinner was,

Like she always wanted to hear,

Like the way I never had the grace to express,

Because that's how it was supposed to be,

Because that's how I should have been.

If only.


But now I lie here helplessly

On cold, black glass,

Frozen needles peppering my face

And stabbing my heart

While silent streams trail down my cheeks.

Regrets unheard

And unknown.


And I know that words like "had I known"

Are only excuses,

But I still can't help but pray

For a relief I don't deserve

As I stare blankly into the dark, night sky.

Dear God, just one more chance,

I whisper as the lights fill my vision.


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