I Will Carry You With Me

Because I don’t have a choice

Ben Kassoy
Human Parts
Published in
2 min readJul 17, 2019

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Photo: Johner Images/Getty Images

Mik Everett wrote, “If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die.” May my love and self-love immortalize us both.

It’s times like these I consider the ever-growing graveyard around me. Or maybe it’s an anthology. Or a garden.

I don’t like the Fourth of July because it’s the loudest day of the year and I spend it thinking about your eternal silence and your memory reverberating with beauty and wisdom to infinity.

Confess your greatest fears and deepest sorrows and, like the end of Mean Girls, fall backwards into my sea of benevolent arms. I don’t care that you don’t even go here.

My sister wrote me a thank-you note, unprompted. On the outside, it quoted William Arthur Ward: “Feeling gratitude without expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

Another friend told me: “Someday you’ll stop feeling sorry for what you lost and start feeling thankful for what you had.”

Maybe the difference between life and death is the difference between “I’ll Cover You” and “I’ll Cover You (Reprise).”

I don’t need a crystal ball; I already know the future. It’s that my greatest joy and my greatest sorrow are still ahead. What now?

Sometimes I like to imagine heaven as Abraham Lincoln waving from the clouds alongside Chubbs Peterson and the alligator who bit off his hand.

I wonder if you know that we do karaoke every year on the anniversary of your death and sing the Dixie Chicks version of “Landslide” through tears of sorrow and joy. Somehow we’ve turned tragedy to celebration and I guess alchemy isn’t impossible after all.

Sometimes everything feels like gravity — perpetual downness; relentless — yet outside the rainfall evaporates and rises, and somehow your body is a garden and your spirit is a phoenix, and maybe all of us are too.

It was the girl’s birthday and the poor boy took her into the fancy store and said, “Pick out anything you want.”

The girl left with a designer handbag.

“I could only afford to eat one chicken for a whole month after that,” the poor boy said 30 years later.

“It’s not like I asked your father to do that for me,” the girl called from the living room.

I will take you with me because I don’t have a choice; I “carry” you like I “carry” my skin. And I will pay you forward with everything I have.

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Ben Kassoy
Human Parts

Poet, writer, author of THE FUNNY THING ABOUT A PANIC ATTACK -- available now! www.benkassoy.com/books