It takes 10 minutes in front of the urn 
to realize what it is; the gravel of her
unbody in a pink casing she might have picked 
out herself. There is no viewing, no open casket, 
only farewell to dust. You wonder her weight, 
how its whole could pack into a space 
fit for hands. Oh the less that might have shown 
had you seen her. This disease. How much 
it might have taken of flesh in the months leading 
up to here. You, retired witness. Evidence of pricks 
like collagen for fingers’ binding. Anger’s acidity,
her mother’s voice on the phone. Density 
of knowledge, choice of distance. Now, the gone, 
the after before you. Here sits the epiphany. 22 is still. 
The streets frozen over, November, winter already. 
You swirl intention in your swollen mouth. Raw, 
the teeth have chewed the gums that carry 
them. When you step back from the altar, the floor 
cracks. The walls of the funeral home fall 
backward. Somewhere, you hear her 
cackling. The curtain drops, a bow. She loved 
Performance. To tease the maybe, glide 
against edges, storm of a girl. To dance on 
the border between, to be almost and then not 
at all. A question has never been a question 
until now. What did it feel like in the seconds 
of? How quick was the sand to fall over? On this 
church morning, Christmas is soon. In the center: 
a framed smile, her face on the memoriam card. 
Who knows is a tourniquet for the intestine. 
In the evening, its grip tightens.