Our epitaphs

Do not speak of Charon,
or any cold marble thing:
that’s all just Greek to me.

Your grandiloquent amphitheaters—
columns and rows of allusion—only tease
at monument. They ruin this moment.

You are in your twenties
and worry about the colour of parkas…
how many people will attend your party…

Find a homely metaphor I can grasp
and feel, like a nana’s creased fingers
as they slip worn dollar bills

into the warm pudding
of eager five-year-old palms.
A touch that breaks beneath

the weight of birthdays and funerals,
and with its crumbling reveals our humanity.
Let Charon ferry his own people’s epitaphs.


3 thoughts on “Our epitaphs”

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