Poetics for Death Poems

by Abner Dormiendo

Let me tell you now I fake a lot of things. My favorite emotion to fake is sadness. I always thought it was a state of existence more than a thorn on the side of my body. But I pick at it like it never heals. This doesn’t mean I was never sad. When I was twelve, my cat died. Her fur is white and her eyes are of a different color. I rubbed the tire marks off her torso as she rapidly breathed herself to death. By now you might think this is about death but really I am just finding an excuse to put my cat in a poem. Here I am sitting in a corner of a well-lit room and your parents are probably picking your clothes, something that would go well with the color of your coffin. Eggshell white. Golden handles. Cherubs embossed along the bottom like that of the holy covenant but what do I know. This is your funeral and this is just a poem. It means nothing to anyone except for me. Call me solipsistic then. At least being in a box is something we have in common. I’m sorry. I keep telling people I am sorry for X. Replace X with a variety of sins. X is not knowing you enough. X is not telling you how I always loved you. Looking at photographs of you smiling and remembering the last time I spoke to you and whether you were happy and if you were, were you happy because of me. X is forgetting. I am playing the role of your friend. Am I convincing yet?  Tell us this isn’t real. My cat is still dead but this isn’t about her death anymore. What has changed will remain that way until further notice. For now, everyone is in their own well-lit rooms, eyes red with X. Whatever this is. Come back. Your friends are shaking their twig-like ribcages, plucking their hearts out, ripe with grief, prying them open with their hands. They’re giving it to you. Eat it. Take it with you. This is how we’ll remember you by.