A Funeral

by Melissa Rose

I. When the beta fish died
His body floated to the top of the bowl.
It swayed next to the bamboo,
a ghost caught in the current
as yesterday’s vibrancy
faded into a pale complexion.

I took the bowl outside
dug a small hole
and poured the contents
into the 
dirty coffin.

II. When we bury 
what is too painful to remember
the earth somehow feels like
home again.
The soil beneath 
worm-like fingers 
and my hands two shovels in the dark
reliving their body count.

III. The first child I lost
I couldn’t bear to flush down the toilet.
I left it in a hole beneath a rosebush
still wrapped in its amniotic sack
like a seed
I prayed could still grow
or a fish
that had just stopped
swimming.

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