I don’t know how it should work,

driving down the South West highway, thinking your

bundle of flesh and bones is in cold storage somewhere

while we race back through the heat to help make     

arrangements

 

I think of the thin pile of you

stacked against beige pillows and us trying

to rearrange you

prop you on your spine in front of your

white cut sandwiches, crusts off

blinking as you ate them slowly like a tired child

 

your hair, always perfectly set

(audience or no) kept bothering you

tenderly I stroked it into a bun

and I think you were glad though

you thought I was my mother, ‘Jan’ you said

 

Christmas and we left you

alone in that cubicle

worrying about the spider

behind the light

Christmas and we left you

inserted between pastel screens

we three believing we had

little choice

 

at the door we forgot the code to

get out and laughed saying

‘imagine we could not leave.’

Last Time I Saw You Your Hair Was Long Image