It all seems so tidy watching
my father hand over the last check,
white concrete and marble doors
shining all around him.
Like this it is decided.
One day I’ll be buried
My father smiles,
some adult pressure relieved,
some burden of ambiguity sealed.
Five Bedells choose their spots—
mine, upper right corner,
farthest from the water that pulls
at everything here until it’s gone.
I read my name in brass—
thinking the while of playing the rain,
of warm south Louisiana water,
thinking of how that water turned
cold in my clothers and hair.
Upper right—good choice.
But something in the caramel of the brass
reminds me of ground,
of what I will never know here.
In Texas, they do not tax themselves
with bonehouses. They return to the elements.
In Arkansas and Mississippi,
people have proper grave stones
to be toppled by frat boys,
plots to make love upon
under moon and dry skies.
Even in north Louisiana
people are eated by beetles
the way it was meant to be.
Not here, though.
Upper right corner — I will never know,
the completeness of ground,
of travelling through earthworm
and robin, of being stewed
and returned to life by the slow,
consuming burn of water.