from Things I Wrote Before I Died

You were wearing the green dress and that was why I tied a concrete block around my leg and jumped. It was a Thursday and this is where I’m supposed to say this isn’t your fault (me at the bottom of the Ohio River, something I cannot name growing in my lungs), that it was just me being sick, selfish, chipped and cracked like my dead grandmother’s china. But the truth is, this is all your fault: you in your green dress, the same green dress that was unzipped in a hotel room paid with cash, only kept for the afternoon (though there were other afternoons) and me wondering if my body will find its way to shore or will it take a team of divers to find me. Does it matter? The ring didn’t. Did you take it off? It doesn’t matter. What the water can’t wash away: what a lie touches first, how limp I had gotten even in the morning time. And in the middle of everything I wondered, are you still the skin I wanted to fold into an origami swan, sleep inside like a cocoon. Or, a dream that will never come: the importance of you.

Peter Gabriel can be reached at

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