I wear white lace to mourn
because I can cut it between my teeth.
I take an axe just in case. The coffin is so heavy
the pallbearers drag it—a limb and a body.
It screams so loud a tree falls. It claws the wood.
It hounds. It heavy breathes and says my name.
It shoulders against the lid to find the opening.
They bury it with concrete because it first escaped
the dirt. For 90 days it starved and never once died.
Most times I am hungry it eats my stomach.
When they chained the casket shut its arm snapped.
Every time I walk it moves the ground beneath me.
Every willow tree I see mourns me. In the sunrise
the first I notice—how everything is winter dead.
I leave the service shaking, my lips bleeding—
Oh, how a funeral spills from the parlor.
Cover Art by Rebecca Pyle