The priest poured oil on your coffin,
A little. Then dust. A little.
I was in high heels.
Someone said you were in Heaven.
I’ll be back in five minutes,
I whispered to your coffin.
The funeral director walked
Over with a black bag.
I knew better than
To open it in front of a crowd.
Later, I did. Laminated obituary.
Six of ’em. The guest book.
Thank you notes for the
Flowers and cards I’ll get.
And the clothes you were wearing
When you died.
Fuzzy white socks.
White long johns with blue snowflakes.
Soft, navy fleece shirt,
Long gray hairs around
I pulled out four and saved them
In an envelope.
I pressed the shirt to my face,
My breasts curved into the fabric.
Next to this, your last moments.
I’ll visit often, sit by the Crape
Myrtles. When I leave, I’ll bend
Close to the ground and say
I’ll be back in five minutes.
From time to time, when I can’t
Stand it, I will wear
The pajamas you wore.
Pretend I have a mama again.
Share the bed. Side to side.
And you will come to me in strong
Dreams, that last the night.
Loukia Borrell is the American-born daughter of Greek-Cypriot immigrants. A native of Toledo,
Ohio, she was raised in Virginia Beach. She has a bachelor’s degree in English/journalism from
Elon University and is a former journalist. Her poetry and essays have appeared in The
Washington Post, bioStories.com, West Texas Literary Review, Blue Heron Review, The Mark
Literary Review, and elsewhere.