Poem: Heather Hughes

Illo for Heather Huighes's poem.

Win a Burial at Sea

Dispense with the rending
of garments. Only ex-lovers

may apply. The icicle-flourished
epitaphs must be brief.

The pace will be stately,
modest. Plaster masks

by appointment. To starboard, a pod
of killers juggle their scraggy food.

Alas, the magician’s indisposition
continues. Incomplete

entries will not be returned.
Portside, the red lamp

dazzles the reposing plankton.
Prizes are nontransferable.

Dress to impart a natural
air for the vigil.

Sixteen disco balls in eternal
glitter. Agree to the terms

and partitions. Please,
no photographs. Wear lavender,

cerulean, mauve. Write
clearly, in lithic capitals.

Do not speak of below,
those decks are restricted

for the comfort and safety
of unseemly mirth.

Participants will be pickled
or prohibited. Explicitly

the void. Who replenishes
the buffet lettuce? Who steers

the eulogies? No
purchase necessary.

                        And the judges

require a name that fits
easily on the casket,

that even glacier-hounded will slip
most easily off the side of the ship.
heather hughes hangs her heart in Boston and Miami. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bad Penny Review, Cream City Review, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, Vinyl Poetry, and other journals. She MFA-ed at Lesley University and ALM-ed at Harvard University Extension. All her tattoos have wings. Find her online at birdmaddgirl.com.

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