I heard a fly buzzing when he died


I am ushered in, in black, en masse.

A herd of quiet, pallid faces fill the rows;

Some, caring. Most, wearing masks.


I take my seat. A place far from that hollowed out tree,

made hallow by its cold offering.

I do not deserve a closer chair.


I look at the large frame on the easel up front:

a testimony to Death's indifference—

to his gaping, flesh peppered smile.


A youthful heart—a tired body—

perhaps he was gift who suffered to teach others.

An innocent lamb, let slowly bleeding upon a public altar.


A large dignified man gets up—his suit pleated sort of like,

the weeping father's skin should be.

He raises his hands and looks towards the heavens.

I find a fly buzzing on the back of a woman’s neck.


"Have you heard the good news?" He preaches.

The heavy air is pinned on our heads like Kippahs daring to be rejected.

I cough and sniffle, and sense a deep sacrilege.

A lady hands me a handkerchief; I don't have the nerve to tell her

it will only remain dry.


The large man steps down. His news, yesterday’s tabloid.

We rise as a midnight wave. The boy choir sings some solemn hymn.

The fly now buzzes in circles around my shoulders—

I find myself content to simply let it rove.


Out in the idyllic pasture, we walk again,

like the old women, in the ancient Greek play, going to lament Agamemnon.

Some in duty, others with actual tears.


We reach the final home, a habitat of dirt and worms.

I imagine the feast; I imagine the eggs which will be laid in his empty sockets—

The bloated creatures that will crawl in out of his body like it was a vomitorium.


The body is lowered into the hungry pit; the last prayers purl like white smoke into the fresh air.

The world is smoothed over once again—it is all the same.

The fly settles on the grave.

I am left wondering where he went, if anywhere.



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