To never be touched again. That line
has a sound. Hear it?
I don’t want to bring a story
to it. Not even an image.
It has a sound. Listen.

To never be touched. Oh, a nurse,
a doctor, but never to be touched in that way.
You know what way. Listen.
Hear it. Let’s not tag it with a feeling.
Give me a break. What possible song

would you play when you toss my ashes,
someone once asked me.
There is no song, he said. Don’t
narrativize, Diane. Don’t narrativize Diane.
See what a comma can do?

Copyright © 2022 by Diane Seuss. This poem originally appeared in The New Republic, May 19, 2022. Used with the permission of the author.