Stealth is my friend once again. Unnoticed at lock-up time, I’m lingering among crosses set in even rows. The gridlock of grim. Typical visitor hours are too hectic, rife with bald human moments ― slumping shoulders mantled in misery. All the ways bereavement can scaffold joy. A boneyard devoid of human sounds is preferable. Aware of the final, fading pulses of light, I apostrophe myself into the dark and begin. Crunching frost-crisped leaves underfoot produces a dry crackle like ghosts coughing. I approach one particular monument arrayed in its upright finery of euphemisms, letters loud with an insistence to be, unscrew a clear solution, and begin my work. Decomposing, I become contradiction’s champion. Shedding an edge of slate, erasing a name, obliterating the expected encomiums. Erasure pounces as acid withers the words a line at a time, returning the stone to its gall of quiet lovelessness. In life, he quietly murdered his first wife, dropped my sister’s corpse from his private plane like earth’s least precious stone, then kept his crimes buried by decorating his life with diplomas and philanthropy. Her remains were never found, never graced a morgue slab nor satin-lined coffin. But tonight I feel her spirit humming, numinous as a melody from warped violins.
Native New Yorker LindaAnn LoSchiavo, recently Poetry SuperHighway’s Poet of the Week, is a member of SFPA and The Dramatists Guild. Elgin Award-winners “A Route Obscure and Lonely” and “Concupiscent Consumption” are her latest poetry titles. Forthcoming is a paranormal collection of ghost poems, a collaborative horror chapbook, and an Italian-centric book,“Flirting with the Fire Gods, inspired by her Aeolian Island heritage. She has been leading a poetry critique group for two years. Her Texas Guinan documentary was awarded Best Feature Documentary at The New York Women’s Film Fest. https://linktr.ee/LindaAnn.LoSchiavo Twitter: @Mae_Westside YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHm1NZIlTZybLTFA44wwdfg