The Funerary Round

Poetry by Francois Peloquin

Art by Rissa Chua

My mother goes first,
turning herself into the clock 
that stopped right twice each year, 
a metronome of albums, candles, and prose;

my father next,
silent, knowing the boy 
was not his, becoming the keys of the piano 
that tried each spare room in heaven;

my sisters later,
reshaping last words into 
cutting rights, last pictures 
into stained glass;

finally me and my brothers,
borrowing, in turns, his nineteenth year,
trying on his wrists and clavicles for size
before throwing them off like hand-me-downs.

What I do know: That the pages 
have never stopped filling with your sound. 
That we who remain are cursed
to form and reform ourselves
to your echo
of pavement on bone.