or not a funeral, but only the abyss again
gussied up this time in black tie and tails,
and not bent on separation,
but jointed too closely,
some fool handing out bits of fate
tied up in lace like cake.
It was never rice they threw, it was death
dealt out in scraps, all of us
wedded to it from conception
and dying like flies. I felt a funeral--
plunging through union and reunion,
my high school classmates lined up
in a gauntlet, the minister
a railroad conductor (his same boots
of lead), shaking his watch
and thundering, “Whom God
hath joined—” when all through time
it’s been God himself setting us asunder,
two halves of a too-ripe peach, every rite
a funeral, the universe in net stockings
teasing us into her freckled bosom.
One more funeral--
lit up like a wedding
in my brain.
Bethany Reid's most recent book of poetry is SPARROW, which won the 2012 Gell Poetry Prize, selected by Dorianne Laux. She lives in Edmonds, Washington, and blogs at www.awritersalchemy.wordpress.com.