There’s Nothing Left for You

By Elliot Pope


Two stand at the edge of a roof.


One tells the other to jump,


           everything will be simpler if you jump.


They stare down at the cracked pavement,

                patched and faded by years of traffic.


Will their blood blossom red on the black?


Will it be scrubbed up tomorrow?


Or will it linger, seeping into the

          c r a c k s,

soaking into the dirt beneath.


Will it water the weeds suffocating under the surface

and give them a chance to


           for a change.


Will the ending of their life

start another?


They tell this to the other,

but they just scoff.


Why muse over meaningless things?




There is no sun today,

just the midnight clouds from the fires

smothering the city in ash and heat.


Do it, they think.

              What is there to live for?


Life has only become cracked and broken.

              You can be freed now.


But… a voice whispers with the wind,

            if you go, they will win.


Do you want them to win?



Not again.

Not ever.


They hesitate.


What a coward,

the other hisses.

They push.


One stands at the edge of a roof. 


They watch the other,

and think about cleaning the blood

from the pavement below.


                                                                 No flowers will grow today.