Poetry & Prose

Common Grave

This is the shape of dying.
Arched, exposed, vermilion scales,
the silhouette of crying

girls. The anxious parents lying
about souls and gods, their lips pressed tight.
This is the shape of dying

eyes, the last breath catching, sighing.
The stiffness, heavy grease of fur.
The silhouette of crying

women, bent as fresh-turned earth is drying.
Stained hands clasped in sorrowed knots.
This is the shape of dying

flesh upon the sheets. Cracked voices denying.
Huddled tight around the bed, they hunch.
The silhouette of crying

people, the varied, tortured lines belying
a single, perfect form of grief
that is the shape of dying.

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