A funeral at sea

I’m in the habit
of killing things,
smashing small insects,
tugging at the stems of tulips
and tying flowers into my beloved’s dark hair.
If you cut off my head
I too will be a picked daisy
and Kali will wear the blossom of my face
like my beloved does
a daisy chain.
Sever my head from my neck
and I will be just as dead
as a Christmas tree
or a rose torn from the bush.

I have piled dead sentinels high
in my beloved’s vases
in this fashion,
and tucked them behind her ears
so that they could give their essences to her.
I’ve pulled them gasping from hot cars
and nicked them from neighbor’s gardens,
and studied their mortician’s poses
in florists’ shops.
I have seen them in great bundles
stacked stone-dead like Jews
and in bunches still in the dirt
in open-air nurseries
with little white plastic labels that have
exotic names on them like
helianthus annuus and
hyacinthus orientalis.

I have browsed for the right kind in catalogues,
each picture like
the posie-photos
that the Khmer Rouge took on the Killing Fields,
the posie-ghosts on paper
still alive then,
no more saying ‘pick me’ than
the lawyers, doctors and teachers
who died those years in
Cambodia;

but still I do,
when things are good or
when they go wrong;
and compare their
dying graces
to my beloved,
and present them to her
in order to brighten her day —
dozens of dead, sweet-smelling soldiers
draped in flags of cellophane.

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About allisunknown

26 year-old student, tutor, and writer. Write for http://www.spectrumculture.com. Also nascent pedestrian advocate. Twitter handles: twitter.com/joeclinkenbeard twitter.com/PedInPDX
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2 Responses to A funeral at sea

  1. Alli says:

    I’ve never read a poem by yours that I disliked.

  2. allisunknown says:

    Merci, m’p’tit chou!

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