Every time we mention the dead
I feel their weight on the mattress
indentations — never been flipped.
My pores have forgotten the garlic.
When you die before Americans
learn to love sushi
there is extra unfamiliarity
in the afterlife.
You have to get used to
more than the weight change.
Expecting the rocky coast of Maine
you find Uncle Harry with a beard,
Great Aunt Blanche sitting very still
around an oblong Formica table.
There is an abundance of whitefish salad
a surfeit of historically accurate costumes.
Here, this one is exactly your size.
From “Marginal Road” (Hollyridge Press, 2009)
Rachel M. Simon is the author of the poetry collections “Theory of Orange” and “Marginal Road.” She teaches writing, gender studies and film courses at Marymount Manhattan College at
Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, SUNY Purchase College, Pace University and Poets House.