In a still parking lot

my father grips the wheel

as if driving very fast.


Her powdered smell,

her box of tissues

unopened on the dash.


Did daubed lips

leave a keepsake shade

in the pocket of her door?


He counts steps, looks ahead –

Simple, Affordable, Dignified

stenciled on the door.


He pauses before entering

the iced box air

where someone hovers.


He imagines

he should speak –

For pick up?


Someone pushes a button

on a counter – Carr for Mary Lou.

Somewhere, a speaker –


About ten minutes, we’re scraping her out.

A light, a hum, someone is falling.

He can smell her powder.



First publication: Amaranth, Indolent Press 2016