. . .
What Comes After
It was the teeth
not shining, straightened
pearls, but yellow &
crooked, the discs at the center of a daisy.
Those yolky florets called and she climbed
in lining her body
with velvet to fit next to that still smiling
scent of pine & rot that once lurched
through life whispering secrets
on smoke breaks until someone laid it here
in her path. She got closer
pressing her face to skin that had already
pulling tight, clinging to bone & muscle, knowing it would be first to leave,
but wanting those last seconds of
every second it had never asked for
laying slack all those years.
She saw all this in that tightening and nuzzled
against that cold sad thing,
something now, never someone again
just bits of a self doing everything
they could to hold tightly to each other.
She lay her cheek on its breast
and heard an echo chamber, hollowed
forgotten, these once great ribs
housed an orchestra, still
she reveled in that silence
bringing every bit as close as she could
so she could drink it in.
She lay in that coffin nestling a
corpse being a little
too human to describe what remained,
she counted every piece that longed
is a pleasure all its own
and every pleasure needs a witness
so she curled up and
saw that ending, joyful in the right light
as each bit said its last farewell.
Judson Easton Packard