or blood vessels under pale flesh
the candle vomits blue wax
I watched the wax pool and drain
pool and spill
for twenty minutes
about the same amount of time
I sat listening to hymns
watching for your coffin lid to wiggle
creak open an inch
enough space for an arthritic finger to show
ice blue, crowned with
a coral-painted talon
Some animals lay next to their dead
and we laid over ours through
wood, varnish, metal hinges. Six-feet of soil
I remember lying awake at night
hearing you breathe next to me and then stop
I prayed to Jesus, the beetle,
and you exhaled. Yet the coffin remained shut.
I will find a coral fingernail
in the soil we buried you under and
I will wear it in a locket around my neck
a message that you are now some place
where coral nails are not needed.
Nor fingers the color of blue lagoons, for that matter.
Carrie Redway is a writer and mixed media artist in Seattle, WA. She is inspired by myth, folklore and ritual. Her poems have appeared in Really System, Sick Lit Magazine and Picaroon Poetry. She tweets @carrie_redway.