The Kübler-Ross Model

A Poem by Violet Mitchell

You hold me closer to the light
of the wick, the flickering
the wicked
sell numbers at the bottom of pages
pagan sage
pay a gun’s corsage

I haven’t been to a wedding in sixteen years,
the gap in your front teeth says.
I forget how a bouquet of stems
squeaks against sweaty palms.

psalms disappear from vows
dispense dirt from sore cheeks
seek research on the history of baby’s breath
breadth of waist
bread to waste
crumbs water falling down a veil
water presenting autumn’s fashion trends

I remember your dinner prayer
air sucking string
for a hymn
kinship, inheritance
brushing hips with plot

the heel of your hand
scratching my forehead sweat

the evergreens with tinsel
could drape their last days
no matter the holiday

the shadows keeping the North snow
shatter rows of carrot leaves

the idea that zeroes are important
that heros import giants

aunts sing in choirs, discuss rhetoric,
design table legs
I knew you could see how
the roasting process is slow,
but not linear.

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