Monday, December 3, 2012

Death Awaiting Epiphany

I avoid looking on death,
Averting my gaze and holding my breath
As I pedal past the raccoon, spread-eagle on the road,
Its innards outside,
A bewildered expression frozen on the bandit face
(or is it decomposition that makes the eyes so sad?).

Once I dressed a friend for burial,
A gathering of women tugging underclothes over a limp body,
Wiping body fluids that escaped out of the eye socket,
Rust-colored tears.
We laughed over shared memories,
Philosophized about resurrection and heaven,
as one must while handling the dead.
It was years before I could eat barbecue sauce
Without picturing those tears dripping toward a cold metal gurney,
A vision of death not quite ready for company.

I suppose decay, rather than death, repulses me
(or frightens?),
The unnatural tilt of a powerless neck,
An inner life left in disarray,
Rotting in the glare of an oblivious sun.

Body bereft of spirit,
Untidy emotion awaiting epiphany.

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