If We Meet in the Cemetery
A poem about death and the ways we carry on
I typically wait until the last minute to post my Soaring Twenties Social Club Symposium piece, but I’m ahead of schedule. I fought for this month’s theme to be Death, and I’m already impressed with the work being contributed. When I started this poem, it looked pretty different. I wanted to write something dark and spooky, but I ended up with something heartfelt instead. I hope you enjoy it. I hope it brings you comfort.
Also, the birthday sale is still going strong! All month, new subscribers will get 31% off in honor of my 31st birthday. That discount will last 12 months. Be sure to tell the spirit haunting your house.
If I see you in the cemetery, I won’t tell you I’m sorry. But I will hold your hand if you want me to. I’ll lend you my life for an afternoon as you give some of yours to the dead. Don’t give away too much. The dead don’t need you anyway. They lie there in the ground, breaking down, until they build themselves back up again. The dead are in the trees, giving themselves shade. The dead are in the bees, pollinating and producing honey so sweet you can taste their memory on your tongue, coating you in a slow warmth usually reserved for summer afternoons. The dead know they’re good for the soil, feeding the earth and scattering themselves across the universe. The dead know they’re still alive. If I see you in the cemetery, I won’t tell you not to cry. Crying pulls the loss from your soul. You’ll feel lighter when you’re finished. Besides, salt makes everything better. It cuts the bitterness and makes it bearable. It removes rust from neglected things. Salt forces you to feel the pain, but it knits you back together in the end, just long enough for something else to rip you apart. If you see me in the cemetery, don’t leave me flowers. Flowers die. There is enough death here. Leave me a stone, one smoothed down by water and worried thumbs. Or find one sharp and jagged like your anguish. Hold it so tightly that it’s the only thing you feel. Then let it go. Let me watch after it for you. When you visit, you can see how the wind and the rain have tempered it. You can see how time softens all things.
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Thanks for reading, and don’t forget the sale! In the meantime, tell me a story about someone who died. Let’s bring them back for a moment.