in After the Steaming Stops
Thanks to the front page,
I found out like most people did:
how she lay dying in a Paris tunnel,
how the impact raked her in like soft hay in a baler.
With Binky the Siamese cat plopped on my lap,
I stop spreading strawberry jam on rye toast,
his skin folds and dusty white fur escaping over the print.
I wish he could lick all of that black type and spit up
a vicious hairball I’d shovel inside wet beach sand.
Loss reminds you about change,
and what you are willing to throw away.
One week later it’s too early
for the calls of pelicans and egrets,
as I drive to a friend’s home on Folly Beach
to view the prince-demanded funeral. I could
have watched at home, but her day demanded witnesses.
My boyfriend didn’t know who she was
and couldn’t understand her power.
It’s the second time in 18 years
I’ve set my alarm to see such pageantry.
Eight horses carry the hearse
instead of the bridal carriage.
I cry more for her than I did
for any family death. I cry
for another death coming.
I see it’s time for me to move out of his place,
tell him what he’s afraid to say,
and take his fat cat and a few towels in the parting.