before you scatter me
on the surface of the sea,
just know that I wept for you
for years, like my mother
did for her own father
(she murdered his memory the day he left).
I don't leave you a single thing
because you've already taken it all:
remember the first time
you kissed me in the dark
and told me you loved me?
It was a lie
and I died.
So then I resurrected myself,
you were no Jesus
but I was my own Lazarus
and oh, the riches that I found
when I stood on empty pavements
in forgotten cities,
alone and vengeful.
Every night I tasted
expensive wines on many tongues
and I felt many hands around me, rough,
and I said yes yes yes
too much, or maybe not enough.
Sugar dusted my fingers
or at least I pretended it was
because I was still a child, pretending to be bold and tall
but sugar is never sour-bitter
and it never makes your heart race and fall
and I tried not to feel small. Oh, I tried
and said yes to it all.
I came back only to show you
that my death is an echo
of all the women you silenced-
I am their ancestors, their elders
their wildness set free.
You see, you stand at my funeral
you think you knew me.
Funerals are never for the dead,
because they knew the life they'd led-
they are for the bereft.
Funerals are always for the ones
that regret the empty, hollow, colorless years
they have left.