The Death Business

By Maxwell A. Gillmer


i am dead but i am not gone and departure is no longer in my sight because you wont let me flee or let me let myself stand up and walk across the water and i wont let you let me leave us all either because something more waits for me and for us but not you behind the veil that stole my voice and hid it away before i could catch it and hold it in my mouth but no tongue behind teeth means no words outside teeth until the tongue is no longer necessary in a world reversed by sea and words can walk freely but my words hide behind your eyes like lighting between chasms that no hands can grasp before it turns to liquid and slides out of your body like oceanwater falling from the earth into the sky where we all will be.

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Mother didn’t want me to venture onto the deck alone. Twice a day she hurried me along to the quarterdeck for me to watch the captain steer the ship, but it was never too captivating. The man smelled of dirty soap and stale clothes and was never too fond of Mother. He was always glad to see me, but I would’ve much rather explored the ship on my own.

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