Come, come she ushered, into the room where his still-warm body resided,
There we pray pray prayed to the god I canít accept
Thatís somehow absorbed him all the same.
We link hands as though our collective longing could bring him back.
And now itís quiet, the way the street outside a crowded bar is quiet.
Hospice pamphlets littering all the clean surfaces like broken bottles and playbills.
The sudden, startling silence fills each room like water and I canít breathe.
Sheís turned off the respirator for the first time in fifteen years.
Judyís crying hard, like a child too young to be ashamed.
She walked in all blotchy faced and ruined,
For a tissue to blubber into, and I smiled a familiar nervous smile
The kind that always hurts my cheek muscles, and leaves me feeling sorry
I wear my smile like most wear their frowns, and least favorite clothing.
At the end of the funeral day, long and broken up as the procession,
When there isnít much left for anyone to say, I write.
I look around me at the room full of bodies all stacked
in marble cages like filing cabinets and Iím glad at least that heís underground.
Thrown away instead of packaged like a container of leftovers no one will ever touch again.