In Lieu of Flowers

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 29, 2018

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Submitted: August 29, 2018



In Lieu of Flowers


It was a publicity stunt when he spoke

of his younger years fighting wildfires

in California and when, defiant

even in death, she faced her executioner

in a red petticoat – it was that kind of revenge

that kept him from bolting for 236

nights. I am jealous of things


that outlast us, said the late Ophelia, the late

Amelia, the late Giovanni,

the late Olinda, because if no one is kissing

you, death is real. And in the entire story

of civilization, the face of humanity

has changed forever through bookshelf

familiars and established literature,


which helped him speak again. This time,

it was about working as a cowboy

on ranches out West, where he pretended

he was the owner of Pint Size Jr’s – and died,

one lazy afternoon, from heart failure.

We are all preceded in death by wives,

for they alone have the right to marry


birds – and I told him, I sent two letters

and told him, that we would one day build

a show around him, that the part was his

before he left the world. He was a historian

and a chemist, when policemen switched from black

uniforms to blue, but he suffered from inherited

color blindness, and he will lie in state


from 9 a.m. until the time of service,

but there will be no service – no one to talk

about the things he used to speak of – because

we will all just pretend he is joyfully at rest.

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