Laughter at the Funeral

Tanned skin, criss-cross scars-

Game of blame, and shooting stars-

Wish on wish, piled to the waist,

Here’s the pain- take a look… have a taste.

Summer camp and three weeks cluttered,

Hubris of the haven crew-

We’ve flown from far, to heal (to shutter),

The ruins of the ruined you.


And in the face of love and hell,

We caged our hearts in steel-

Time pressed on us- all was well-

We buried all that was real.

We buried all the brunt of grief,

And wrestled jokes from it,

They came to us with bloodied arms-

We nearly broke from it-

The orphaned girls, wild with want,

It was too much to care-

A gamble with all that was there,

We turned away- a loss, somewhere.


The weight of the wreckage of all of This- burn it.

The ache of Love inside our gutted souls- scorn it.

It had turned to something uncontained-

The telling of their truths and pains,

It had grown to beast too fast, too sure,

A burst of freedom from its locked door-


It was a clamor for our eyes-

For our hearts, and buts and whys.

It was a gamble for us to learn

of all the the places they’d been worn,

and all the people they’ve watched torn,

and- watch it burn please, just watch us burn.


So we refused, we closed our eyes-

We will not abide by this- you must try-

to nurse your skin back to wholeness,

we’ll hold you through the summer stillness-

but of course, two weeks is- nothing. a splatter of a hole,

and we knew we’d leave before there was a hint of goal-


and in our bunkhouse, we laughed at it all-

the laughter of hope lost, of heartstricken gall-

A knife is but a knife, a razor, but a graceful tool,

My heart is broken though, it’s breaking still-

Still, I left a week ago- the summer’s cruel…

and we laughed at the funeral.

and now their arms, they haunt my dreams-

and we laughed with tears lining our throats,

and we laughed despite the urge to scream,

and we laughed, though our fingers clenched each other’s shirts,

and we laughed, because it was the only vessel to house our hurts-

and we’re mourners now.

off the plane and into bed,

out of Ukraine, into our head-

mourn the birch trees, mourn the birds,

mourn the music, and the sea of words-

mourn the razors, and blood stained showers-

mourn the heartache, and all those sun soaked hours-

when love turned cripple, when there was nothing.

we. could. do. to. make. it. better.


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