I paint my dead fang-like, in memory.
in flesh, all my dead have the same
sunken eyes and greying skin.
there is nothing habitable about them.
not even for love. they crush my offerings,
chap-lipped and greedy-fisted.
the thing about my dead is
they still breathe. and yet
this does not make them alive.
my dead bear pulses but
lack hearts. my dead have forgotten
what it is to be warm-blooded.
my dead knew goodness once
and forgot. my dead loved me once
they’d eat me, if they had the chance. so
I make myself a rotten thing, let
all the ruin of me seep in.
I do not know what to do with my dead.
as with all of my losses, they have heartbeats
and eyelashes and toes. just like me.
to speak their names would be
to make a funeral of my mouth.
there are better things for my teeth to do here.
my dead share my last name or
kissed my last name, so I gave it back.
not even the dirt will accept my dead.