How Silent Are the Bodies

Seth Stringer

It’s late spring. The white lilies are beginning to bloom, the cypress in your backyard has grown taller, and I’m in the funeral home once again. I’m three bodies away from your corpse, and I can still smell the formaldehyde mixed with the cologne of flower arrangements. I interrupted the rehearsed flows of I’m sorry for your loss, and you look just like him, to go see your barnwood case. Any minute I swear you’ll move your face, open your eyes, maybe say something wise? A second or third cousin I had never seen came up and said, Did you know that they put plastic caps under his eyes to keep them from moving? 
Your skeletal body wasn’t the same I once knew. Your wrinkled neck mushy, your face unrecognizable. The cancer ate your hands, your nails, your teeth, and the small amount of hair you had left. Pink lights accented your mouth, slightly agape, as if you were trying to say something. The mortician thinks it was a job well done. The family gathers around to see you one last time before the case is closed. An eruption of cries and tears orchestrated the closing of your casket. You though, are still mute. How silent are the bodies at a funeral home.