September Funeral

by Chris Tusa

Two strange women whisper
through a cloud of baby’s breath,
their lips the creased petals
of poinsettias, their voices muffled
in a thick Mississippi drawl.

They pile jelly doughnuts
carelessly on their plates,
their polyester blouses freckled
with white tears of powdered sugar.

While they smile behind their napkins
I think of your startled body glowing
in the bruised light of the Bogue Falaya.

I watch them gossip over coffee,
listen to their remarks fall
like the snow outside.

CHRIS TUSA was born and raised in New Orleans. He holds a B.A. in English, an M.A in English, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Florida. He teaches in the English Department at LSU and acts as Managing Editor for Poetry Southeast. With the help of a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, he was able to complete his first chapbook of poetry, Inventing an End. His debut novel, Dirty Little Angels, was published by The University of West Alabama in March of 2009. His debut collection of poems, Haunted Bones, was published by Louisiana Literature Press in 2006. His work has appeared in Connecticut Review, Texas Review, Prairie Schooner, and others.

Poem from Inventing An End (Lone Willow Press), © 2002, Chris Tusa. Used by permission of the author.