My heart failed me, when your casket, rather the cheap box that would burn quickly, slowly went into the flames.
I knew you were not hot, warm or cold. You were long gone-seconds, minutes, days.
I was the one there, burning. Face pressed against the cool imitation marble walls, in the nook around the corner. I could not sit on that hard bench, purposely set just so, allowing for the bereaved to still feel engaged yet not actually see the casket go into the flames.
I heard it. The subtle grinding of the gears.
We all do, even through our weeping.
It sounds the joints of the aged, as they creep on, stumbling towards the Bethelhem in their heads.
“What about me?” His eyes growing deeply sad as he reached out and brushed his fingers cross my right shoulder. Chewing the words slowly, like gum that has lost its flavor but is still sticky, not yet slick.
Shaking my head, hair spreading on my damp cheeks like broken wings.
What could be said?
How could I tell him that I did not need him nor did I need him to care for me?
He doesn’t have enough love to stop the cracking of my soul. His care and concern is not strong enough putty to plaster over the rips and gouges.
There he stood, facing down the monstrosity of inevitability. Valiantly fighting, soldiering through the muck and grime of persistent sorrow.
[He is not you.
They are not you.
They are not able to stopper the ragged hole left in your absence. I could stack them together, cords of friends, family, and lovers and still, they are not equal to you. ]
He is waiting.
Dropping to my knees, I drop my head slowly to the floor and bash my forehead against the wood.
Don’t believe that wood has a natural give, that is much softer than stone.
The skin splits just the same. The blood pours out just as quickly.