poetry Short Stories Uncategorized

dinner with death

as an undertaker

you grow accustomed to death

respect his place within the layers of being

certainly fear him more than most


over time we realize how random

his judgement

and unreasonable the damage done

by his heavy hand

as we drain the blood

and our innocence along with it


how tenuously our human cells hold together

yet the way we fight to go on

despite the inevitability

of ending


questioning the point of all this suffering


as you place the receiving blanket in the coffin


or put the last curls into the eight year old girl’s hair


the motorcycle crash was a closed casket service

but his mother decided before we placed him in the hearse

she had to see his jawless face


someone’s nana covered in bed sores

who lingered too long to suit her family’s liking


the suicide who dealt with his wife’s affair

by removing the back of his head with a .45


you learn to have dinner with death

sharing a bottle of scotch with his dead sockets and wicked grin

in the hopes that laboring over his body count

will keep your own bones

from owing coins to the ferryman


and at the end of the day

as you’re cleaning up the embalming room

back turned to the finished work of a life on the table

sterilizing trocar needles and scalpels

the sounds they emit

as the gas escapes


somewhere between a moan and a sigh

coming through the vocal chords


you hear the last sound their voice ever makes

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