And Here Are Our Ideas for the Epitaph

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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.


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