• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 07


The earliest of all
the signs we left,
before even the knapped stones
the handprints and animals
on the deep cave walls,
were the bones
laid carefully to rest
that had been strewn with flowers
that bore traces yet
of precious red ochre
our signature
the only ones
who bury their dead with honor
and protect the relics
left behind,

This mummy portrait
part of that long history
the sweet faced
wide eyed boy
remembered in his beloved
the way he dressed his hair
the garments and the ornaments
he wore
All say – here is one we loved
one who will be missed
one who was himself
distinct and unmistakable,
one of our own.



These honors we give our dead
for so much and so long
our signature
now in this pandemic
by sheer enormity –
no horror worse
than all those beloved
bagged and stacked
like wood in cargo trucks
piling up too fast
for all the precious
rituals of loss.

This is a horror
we have seen before
in war and pestilence
that leaves a wound deep
and fundamental
denying our capacity
to heal