Jessica Lee McMillan
Anatomy of a Funeral
Standard-issue funeral option tombstones are concrete slabs like ashes in a cardboard box, aggregate mixtures of concrete sprawl, a parade through life and death we can’t commemorate.
The horizontal sidewalk ribs set the tone for every street, like every memorial, each fine, horizontal line strains eye to expansion joints dutifully stepped over, lest a spine you break the spaces you went rogue– that which is left out of the eulogy–
courteous platitudes, and no reminders of an untimely end, in lieu of dead flowers, paths are trawled clean to keep appearances neat.
Slipped into the gutter lip down the steel grate — the surfaces of psyche — resist the wood forms we fill, the coercion rebar hiding the quakes,
the defiance of footprints cast in wet, unfinished selves begging for grass, begging for a roast, not a speech.
Published in Goat's Milk Magazine, September 2021