Issue #10

My First Mourning

Before flowers held pollen and smiling came freely

from within a patch of fresh herbs, baby mints,

she passed and took gnarled bits of him with her

into the earth alone, into here and now in him

her grave flowers felt plastic, degrading, unnatural

and I know he agrees, can't admit

if there are no acts to console, there is nothing.

I was a fly humming her corpse, stealing lipstick

it made my lips crackle, I spoke in mock tongues

dry and black, dressed in clothes without mourning

on par with her students with shards in their eyes

bits of mirror, mirror, casting her reflection

her wisdom wasn't handed down to live on,

they have years of blooming to be done, watered by her,

selfish of me, I want her greatness to only be hers

all wilted and shaky his voice rose over

I'd seen him cry when we used to say goodbye, goodbye,

but he had no train to return her or number to call

to question 'what play have you written, which actress

have you become, are the dogs still aging, I love you, I love you'

his words washed into the hollows of my mind

none of this can be real, his is a spectral weight

an inconsolable loss and her grave is dragging him down -

liquid from his pores bruising shadows on his cheeks.

He smelt of fresh mint today, from the garden outside

immersed in his plants again, dampening the leaves and talking

in little whispers, it calms him

Colombine Neal

© 2014