I lie in silence,
oozing heart inside embalmed skin,
as the greasy trickle of grey faces swirls by my casket,
names rattling in the tepid radius of the ceiling fan.
Where is the painless fire?
The crematorium we tiptoed past as children,
has waited all these years.
I cry, I need to drink,
a giant burning thirst,
but this steaming desert has swallowed its own mirage.
The seconds stretch,
I watch them run, clutching their forearms,
cotton wads against punctured skin,
A sallow purple rises up to their throats,
they seem dead, upon their moving feet.
I want to sing a devilish dirge,
with bagpipes and kettle drums,
but this unspoken void has consumed its own tongue.
Where are the flowers?
The marigolds and jasmine strings,
the milky tuberose wreaths?
I smell a chemical odour,
a sulphury taste of ancient fear;
the sweat of mortality
coursing down the shrivelled bosom of life.
I try to get up,
flap my wings to rise,
but hands of time have curdled the viscous air.
I lie in silence.
As seconds stretch.
Searching for flowers.