Requiem(Stop the Press) | Teen Ink

Requiem(Stop the Press)

April 24, 2012
By Zach Whiteley GOLD, Jacksonville, Florida
Zach Whiteley GOLD, Jacksonville, Florida
15 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Stop the press;

Twas the papers sold my mother’s death.

Breadth taken from the back of news wagons

from Crier boys with nickels in trousers tucked

into their loafers.

In the maternal process,

she rested, curled up as I in her

Heady womb; casket opened to her closed eyes.

Somewhere at a desk: A clerk with carpel-bound hands

Pushed her out.

Between two men; the classified and Home Garden pages,

I saw her open casket

A footnote to cover her feet; a headliner to veil her face—a blemish pimpling, popping,

She rests on my porch now—words with no life;

and the porches of my neighbor—my brother—my son,

caught between letterheads; a residential graveyard, buried under bills--

for the urbanites who bought the last piece of her;

an arm, a leg, recited by newswriters— stories historians penned

then forgot forever.

It’s in those words, the blanks I see; the void between the type, of papery colorless abandon

That haunts my dreams.

Not the honeysuckle perfume she wore; dressed in black for Sunday Church

Or birthdays in the wide parlor and songs ripped from her joy-spurning voice; sweet harmonic


It was in Times New Roman that I knew my mother best;

Was not long before birthdays in the parlor left; candles lit under lightning smiles

For a rich man; a man who appreciated


Always you wrestle inside me;

in my son who knew you less than I—

Who couldn’t remember your maiden voyage; a name. Had only old photographs—ersatz-flavored

recall--crumpled in the an old chest; you must have left behind.

Never did innocence flee as knowledge swallowed you; did you know his name?

Between two men; you chose

a mother I can’t recognize from memory—like a caterpillar turned butterfly

Did you remember us mother; the caterpillars still on the leaf; of innocence, happiness—

remember lives past

When you jumped in front of that train, blaring, billowing down the track.

I remember you;

In requiem—for a nickel trapped between two men;

In the obituaries.

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