I remember you asking me why we care
so deeply about where people are buried
“They’re just bodies after all”.
Let us erect a marble plaque to remind us that
our beloveds are no longer with us, and that there are
strangers clutching our hands with syrupy smiles
plastered upon their faces and dull echoes
of consolation dripping from their tongues.
Do not remember me by my skin and cracking bones but
instead our midnight talks and how you can feel
warmth by speaking my name. Do not stand
by my grave and weep, do not visit it
in a spell of loneliness, do not speak to
a rotting corpse.
Do not trap me in a cold wooden casket under
shovel after shovel of mournful earth. Burn me
and scatter my ashes from the peak of a snow-capped
mountain. Smile as pieces of me are ripped away from your
open palms, no longer cruelly contained in a temporary
urn. “You always did want to fly” you can whisper
as you watch the gray dust that is me but not really
twist away into the picturesque sky.
That can be your farewell, a teary one-sided exchange,
and you will no longer be rooted by a bundle of bones beneath a
marble plaque proclaiming my eternal peace.
Do not memorialize my empty body, I am no longer there
to fill it. Do not pray to a God long departed, cracked palms
clasped like pointed steeples and wordless, trembling lips
sodden with undeserved praise. Do not kid yourself into thinking my
remains are any part of who I was, after all they were left
behind when I departed; expendable and useless. Remember
fondly the tender bond we shared and how we could finish
each other’s sentences. Do not forget our comfortable silences
brimming with warmth and amity.
Dredge up past memories, and reminisce in why
you are bothering to remember me at all.