The box is richly padded and, for one who won’t be stirring, roomy. I should have lived as comfortably, in darkness as conducive to long remembering. This is no way to begin. I am paper and bone in a box under earth as blunt as a clod. My words should be simple as sand. I’ll paint a fuller portrait later, if there’s time. For now, grass bends lightly in the indifferent breeze through rows of headstones on lawns above me everywhere except on my fresh mound. My dates are carved. The stone angel holds her blazing sword aloft over someone else’s plot. If that’s not clear. The blinding days of my life were always too fast and bright for thinking. Here will be different, unless I have a future. The living know how much of our lives is behind us; how much is left is the cause of all our frenzy. That question now would seem to be answered, for me at least, unless there is something after. I don’t see how it concerns me. This can’t go on. This or the next one will be my last thought. I can report the eulogy was inconsequential, a result, no doubt, of timing. I think if I were to write one now for the man with the sinister eyebrows, a man unknown to me, who delivered mine, I could capture him as well as he captured me. He had friends and strong opinions and changed nobody’s mind; he was briefly missed and now reposes underground considering his next move. Still here am I, still awaiting clarity? Having been the toy of both in life, I don’t know whether to hope for oblivion or something like mercy. I only wish to be delivered from hope. Anything else I can live with.

Copyright © February 14, 2008 David Hodges

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