A Meeting, A Parting

by Catherine Filla

I look at you 
in the opening of your small,
wooden box.  Your brown face 
blackened by shadow
and dirt.
They tell me you were named Michelle
but called Macaroni. My tongue is trapped:
I have only just met you,
and no words come. Your friends sing
as we carry your coffin across the littered
ground, and place you, your coffin,
and a flower, into a waist-deep hole.
I pour soil over you. The song
echoes: “Macaroni under the rock,
Macaroni is under the ground.
I imagine seeing you again,
above the smell of the trashed and dusty
ground.  We are out of our hard wooden boxes,
Our dirty homes are clean,
and words flow like melted gold.