A time for reminiscing at the bar
saw a group of friends recounting memories of
another friend who had died by suicide.
He gave so much of himself, one guy told,
that he accidentally gave himself away,
and that hit me like a fucking freight train.

Because isn’t that how those practiced in compassion live,
toeing that too-far-gone line like a car running on fumes?
I think of all the celebrities who have met this tragic end,
the Chester Benningtons and Chris Cornells,
Robin Williams and so many nameless angels on earth
who lost their final fight with the darkness.

I think of myself and the compliments I receive,
not out of the pride of calling myself a similar angel
but I have chosen, or was chosen by, a life that rides along that line.
I’ve searched for it to keep an eye on it, to recognize it
if I ever find that I’ve started to stray beyond it,
all in an effort to share the most love I can with the world.