Youth

They are sacred, the bones
we slip into earth. Parents,
grandparents, others.
The dead are our most
precious selves, cannot be
touched. Sealed, shelved.

But after a while
we can plumb one or two
out. Take a gander. No longer
people now. Just a place
to gather gaze, to frame a past
with hanging bones
in yet another exhibit.

Yesterday I buried you.
For a few years you will be
sacred like your neighbors.
One day I will be sacred
–and then no longer.
(Now I see some bones
locked into light,
a professor lecturing
about my femur
as some others nod.)
Maybe we will be paved
beneath a park, little shoes
knocking near our ribs.
There is only so much
land to fit the dead.
Some faces will be
forgotten, some names
and dates will crumble
into grass. Even the sacred
things will fade in the shade,
but I’m still not-sealed
and not-shelved and have
to move away from you
at least for today.

2 thoughts on “Youth

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