My family gets smaller.
Gone to college. Gone traveling. Gone to another woman. Gone to Florida. Gone to prison.
Gone to see the lord.
Funerals are how
I visit the lord. God is drawn to eulogies.
He’s there, a fixture,
almost a cliche,
like a great aunt with a black veil
weeping into a floral
Today, at this funeral,
a thin layer of snow and ice
has frozen the ground.
Black dress shoes
press ridged footprints into the
Every funeral I’ve ever
been to has been cold. Dress
clothes and peacoats
aren’t thick enough to keep
me warm during a funeral.
I keep my hands in my pockets and hunch forward,
watching my breath hit the winter wind.
The winter wind is
an evaporated sadness, like god.
During thanksgiving, the gravy boat
on the counter
let off hot, thin steam. While pouring it thick
on my potatoes,
A shadow in the corner of the room caught my eye.
The days after a funeral are
filled with a confused, hopeful mysticism. Every moving shadow,
every unexplained noise
is a visitation.
So I ****** my head towards the corner of the room. Nothing.
Glancing back at the table,
I look at his empty seat, reminded
how much I’m him. I’m quiet, like he was.
laugh like he laughed.
My teeth are as bad as his were.
I drink like he did when he was
days, nights at a time, stumbling home from dark pubs,
watching, with blurred vision,
my whisky breath hit the winter wind,
and evaporate, almost as fast as God.
After the turkey and the pie and the coffee,
I go down to the basement
and I pour myself a stiff
*** and coke.
I drink, in silence, to the gone.