Words: Maelyn Dolan (she/her)
Here lies a liar
She may not even be dead –
Before we wrote the epitaph
We had to double check.
Here lies a different me
When she fell out of that tree
The air, the ground, the god that met her
Were less kind; they informed her friends that she had died.
Here lies a woman
She only touched the space
Where she was not –
When she at last laid down to rot.
Here lies a girl
Made of leaves mashed to pulp by the creek in the yard and
Barefoot like the snap of summers jaw,
To sleep, to dream, she left the light on.
Here lies a hypochondriac
She knew she would die: of a heart attack
Of malignant unnamed tumours, not removed in time
She had shown all the signs.
Here lies my sister
Who once was cruel and kind
She taught me how to read, swallowed by the car’s backseat,
When I was nine I knew she loved me.
Here lies my friend
There is the dark and then there’s she –
We are rivers tracing valleys
Each understands the other’s depths and ridges.
Here lies my daughter
It is a shame this poem contains quatrains
She was an odyssey
Within her lived the war at Troy, the epic of the Iliad – the sky above the Aegean sea.
Here lies a body
Buried in a dress one size too small
Left slightly open in the back but
The open casket attendees couldn’t see the unzipped vee.