Note to Mortician

Give. her. pink.
L’oreal celestial magic
Smooth soufflé #840.

Brush across the bridge
Of her nose, highlighting
The apples in her cheeks.

Reinstate warmth
Despite flushing winds,
Ghastly a moon.


39 thoughts on “Note to Mortician

  1. “Reinstate warmth.” Fantastic. I read this at first not seeing the title (cut off the page) and it gave me a chill. Then I saw the title and said, the finish (makeup), the metaphor- perfect pairing. Too often the title is an after thought. Here, it is integral. Well done.

    1. Not exactly your splash of melon, but a pale, pale pink. I got tired of people saying, “I don’t get it,” after reading my poems, so I figured I’d put it right up front and avoid confusion.

  2. I love so much about this: the specificity of that first stanza, the disaccord between the image of a corpse and the life and liveliness conjured by the phrase “apples of her cheeks,” and that final enigmatic last line “ghastly a moon.” So powerful.

  3. I like the reference to the specific color and the detailed instructions. I also like the idea of giving warmth to a corpse. One must look her best, even upon final exit, right? 🙂

  4. Oh, geez… I still remember feeling murderous at the mortician (mortuary beautician?) that put bright pink – fuchsia, even – blush on my mom’s face. My mom NEVER wore that color. I fixed it before the visitors arrived for the viewing… *whew*

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