Poem: For Michael Boyles

Note: This past Wednesday, I was told that my friend Michael hung himself. We were friends in intermediate school (5th-6th grade, I met him in the 6th grade), then we lost touch in the 7th grade, kept ever so slightly in touch from 8th grade to high school, and then we finally caught up with one another again. We’ve been chatting on Facebook and Skype for the past two months and I was so happy to catch up with him. I was going to invite him to Greenville and we were supposed to catch up earlier last week. I’ve been on a rollercoaster with my emotions and I’ve been up and down in my spirituality as well. Would I be this emotional if I didn’t catch up with him? I’m still not sure. On Thursday, I submitted one of his narratives to East Carolina’s Rebel for a chance for him to be published. Rebel is an arts/literary magazine they have published every year in the spring semester. They ask for submissions every fall. He was going to change the world with his words, and he is going to do that because I want that to happen. This poem is for Michael.

When one asks how you are doing,

The imminent way to please him or her

Is to say that you’re fine.

You make it appear as casual,

But you know it’s a crisp, soldier’s statement

In times of tribulation.

Your fellow citizens need affirmation that thing at least will be fine

Even if they aren’t right now.

Hardly anyone answers

“I’m pretty crappy today.

The sun is nowhere near my mental forecast,

But how are you?”

No one would ever say

“Oh peachy,

The plan to end my life is coming into fruition.

It’s ripe and ready to be plucked from.”

You told me you were going to counseling.

You said that things were just starting to get better.

I told him to talk to me whenever he needed to.

This is not going to be wrapped in ribbons

Or perfumed with roses for your family or friends,

That’s who the prayers are for,

This is strictly for you.

You’ve always enjoyed theater and films, Michael.

Was this your way to display a final performance?

You were supposed to be remembered by talent you had

With words that created pictures on a stage,

Not the talent of a dark disappearing act.

You’re not coming back anytime soon.

I’m not writing this to pity you.

I’m writing this to grieve over you.

It wasn’t enough to stuff the world into your back pocket

When it got too hard to wear it on your

Shoulders and sleeves.

That sucks so much!

We were just talking again.

We were announcing prophecies to change the world

As we ranted about blasphemies

That held them back from coming.

You were suppose to open the door

To finally let change come in.

You weren’t giving up on everyone you cared for,

You were giving up on yourself,

And that’s why it hurts.

Those who dare to call my friend selfish…

I can’t find the appropriate euphemism for

“Screw you!”

Well, maybe I can.

They don’t understand how selfless he was trying to be

In the oddest way possible.

To those who lie to post a show on social media

About how great his smile was

When you were the people who spewed enough fire

To obliterate that expression from his face while he was still alive

You’re no good Samaritans.

Unfortunately, you are twisted Pharisees.

To those honest about it,

Thank you.

To those who didn’t know him

And wanted to get to know him more,

You’re so sweet.

But where was that thought when he was still here?

I swore at God and had the intent of doing so

Quite a few times.

But my tea kettle for prayers

Have been left on the stove much longer than usual.

My inner steam and screams from boiling water proves

How much the infuriating questions I have

Condense for answers that hardly come.

Michael, I didn’t lose my faith,

You’re just making me question it.

We were just talking again.

It’s amazing how irony become a joker

From a Jack in the Box

When it comes to our psychology.

Five years ago,

I went to a counselor because I wanted to kill myself.


I’ll be crying to a new one once a week about how

You actually carried out that dark deed for yourself.

You were a fantastic writer.

Did you think about leaving a note before leaving us?

Thank you for the emails of your pieces.

More people need to see the scribbles

From the beautiful scroll you had in your mind.

I’m not sure if I should keep writing this.

I don’t want tears to drown me,

Nor do I want my heart to become a desert

Regarding the mark you had in this temporary


I’m not sure if you can read this,

Or hear me read it,

But I hope my intent is still validated.

Thank you for catching up with me.

I miss you.

Note: He sang and performed so well on his YouTube channel. Here is a link: https://www.youtube.com/user/allisondontexist/videos I only have two other pieces of his, I believe, if anyone wants to read them. I believe they should be read. If you ever feel alone, please talk to someone. If you don’t feel comfortable to talking to someone you know, there is a free hotline, 1-800-273-8255, completely anonymous, and they are available 24/7. Also, go to a counselor near you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. There’s no judgment in the room, you can say, cry, yell, and more of whatever you want. Hugs are good when going to counseling too. Please know how valuable you truly are. That is not a phrase to patronize you, You Are VALUABLE.


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