We shared a name and heritage
though not a country of birth.
Our childhoods were vastly different
separated as we were
by both a century
You had twice more than I
but mine were all younger.
I am just now finding my way into
that world of writing you knew so well.
Your writing successes came
far earlier than mine:
Publishing feminist reviews at thirteen
and poetry at fourteen.
At that age, I was still composing odes to unicorns
and wondering if I would ever lose my braces.
So many stories, essays, poems,
you had two novels before you were twenty-seven
before you succumbed to another thing
we have, well had, in common.
I read today that as young as
eighteen you contemplated
to escape the tortures of your body and soul.
Me too, younger even.
Your eventual death at your own hand, whether to escape
the madness you felt was coming
is a familiar emotional place.
I lived it,
The finality of your choice,
inhaling deeply those choking fumes,
reminds me that
only by continuing to live
can I continue to write,
even if no one is reading