When my father dies,
burry him before the silence comes.
Surround his grave in lights
made of all the wounded fireflies
he released in my belly.
The ones I’d watched him squash
just to force them
to glow.
When the pallbearers carry him,
the way I’ve carried a memory
(or many)
I hope they stomp.
I hope a thousand tiny lightning bugs
squash beneath their marching feet.
Frozen forever as nightlights
to show us,
this right here..
this moment,
is where the fear ends. 

Play a sad song at the funeral;
my abcs,
a lullaby,
the echoing
of tiny angelic voices
crying out.
A choir of only no,
so many times over.
No, no,
all in unison.
Pause so they know
they can breathe,
right before the chorus…
and they do 

as if all the living
depend on those tiny quick inhales.

Drape his casket in my
six year old Easter dress,
laid carefully like an American flag.
A symbol of his service…
I’ll place a single rose there,
cry as I prick each
of my fragile fingertips
on all the thorns.
Reminders of the pain
that comes from knowing
all the words finally
to that hollow hymn.
I can sing along with
those sacred voices

When they are done,
when he has come
and also gone,
we all stop…

as if we can
rest these tiny wings,
and finally

finally breathe.