At the funeral home, they tell me to slide the partition
door open, so I do, just enough to angle my body through,
and I enter the room alone. I approach where my husband’s
body lies inside a cardboard box, on top of a wheeled gurney, and I see that a white bedsheet covers him to his chin.
There is a chair in the room, and I drag it across the floor
and sit next to him. His lips, glued together, have dried
into the faint shape of a kiss. Eyelids, too, glued shut. A
ragged zigzag of sutured skin reaches from his eyebrow
into the receding hairline above his temple, and a dark
purple bruise the size of a salad plate has settled beneath
the skin in the center of his face. His neck tilts to the side.
I untuck the sheet from around his neck, draw it down his
naked body, and begin.