To Théma, Almost Two Years after Your Burial
I don’t know their names
& they don’t know yours,
though your flesh is now
of their flesh as a donor.
I try not to get angry
at strangers pressing too close,
choosing kindness just in case
there’s a part of you
brushing by. What have
your gorgeous, castaway eyes
gifted another to see?
I must have dined near what remains
of you, faithful organ
thriving in a body
spending your hours, strolling past
milestones you won’t reach. Your children
play around us, your laugh
inside tiny throats, holding their bodies
the way you held yours
against fading light, letting music enter
& move them alive. Alive! Your name
sweet pepper burning your parents’ tongues,
the spice of you fresh as the day
they brought you home.
In lieu of flowers, this. Oh cousin,
you know the deepest sacrifice—
being a miracle is far from the glory
of receiving one. No longer blessed,
you live on as blessing.
“To Théma, Almost Two Years after Your Burial” first appeared in Colorado Review (2107) and is from Starshine & Clay (Four Way Books, 2017).