By Fae Sapsford
An army of sexless, anonymous ghosts –
everyone is sexless when they’re dead because
there are no faces and no clothes,
you are covered by a white sheet –
I wonder, why can’t that be
life and my exposed, acne-ridden
be revealed as a dead body?
Grief is like…. a sea. I love plagiarizing
metaphors my own therapist told me.
It’s surprising, the amount you can get away with at a funeral –
the benefit of the doubt
is given out less like a life insurance policy claim,
and more like a liberal squeeze of febreze aerosol,
the scent of which saturates the room
and gives the wine a tangy taste.
More like the hot-box cloud that surrounds Devonshire Bay,
rolling papers floating on the breeze,
like some American Beauty dancing plastic bag,
or like so many discarded lotto tickets –
if a funeral isn’t the perfect time to get high, then when is?
Do you know how much it costs to transform a body into ash?
Not two thousand, not three thousand; it’s four thousand
before shipping and tax.
We’ll take a boat out to North Rock reef
and scatter her where she wanted to be;
that ocean of grief.
There it is again,
that little tidbit; it can be our inside joke.
The service dress code is mascot costumes,
you’re not allowed in if you don’t conform,
the entire room turns into
the critically acclaimed children’s book,
Where the Wild Things Are
and the RSVPs must swing through the trees
as Maurice Sendak desperately scribbles more jungle for us to run through,
the mascot costumes making swinging particularly difficult of course.
It’s not a funeral but a society for obstacle course enthusiasts,
where participants dress in fur suits and Maurice Sendak is overworked,
Maurice Sendak loses sleep drawing and shading endless jungle of trees,
Maurice Sendak hiring cheap labour to hand him pens,
Maurice Sendak realizing his life turned and never recovered.
Mr. Sendak’s grey hair and then his shiny bald head,
Maurice Sendak awakening in a cold sweat
enflamed with a ravenous desire to come out of retirement
and draw trees for us again.
The eulogy is over. We missed it.
We came for the booze anyway – another liquid to overpower
or perhaps top up, and,
finish the line if you’ve heard it before,
we came for the booze
to top up our ocean of –
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