Edited because, man. Non-breaking spaces, amirite?
We are kin, you and I.
A common trauma
Binds us like thread.
We have seen Death with a capital D,
A tired bureaucrat in a crowded office,
Thin and sallow, bleary eyed.
“Papers, please,” Death drones,
And we show them,
And Death shakes its head.
“This will not do.
“We need these in triplicate.
“You’ll have to come back.”
And gasping, choking through
Mouths stuffed with cotton,
We come back.
Our friends and family were
To dress us in our finest clothes,
To leave two bits over the eyes
For bus fare home!
Perfumes and oils
To mask the stench of three days
Spent in soil, spent soiled.
It’s almost impossible to tell
Where we’ve been, what we’ve seen,
If we even know ourselves,
If we don’t shake our heads and say,
“I was never gone. Not really.”
But I see you, Lazarus, and you see me.
And there is something we recognize:
A scar borne with pride.
A stigmata of the soul.
An emptiness of the eyes.