To will her organs, mom ignored the priest
who warned that she might dispossess her soul
unless she occupied a church-owned hole.
She would make herself useful though deceased.
We only learned how badly she’d been fleeced
when news broke how the med school doctors stole
her parts. She came home to us in a bowl
of dust, returned by mail like she’d been leased.
That her last merciful corporal act
should serve only as a means for cash
appalled us, yet the good she did was fact.
Recalled to us, this mockery of ash
served only to confirm her love. We flash
to bits, yet giving, we remain intact.
She had too many thoughts to entertain:
unwanted guests who presented their lies
like hostess presents. Some would itemize
their accusations, then demand “Explain!”
while others fell on her like acid rain,
as she, bowed down, let them monopolize
their tete-a-tete. And though it was unwise,
she knew, to drink alone, she poured champagne.
Libations quieted those spirits linked
to her by shame until, near sleep, she heard
their ghosts file back to some hazy precinct,
their murmurings muffled and indistinct,
their accusations now happily slurred
and the world that sent them charmingly blurred.
Chris Bullard was born in Jacksonville, FL, but lives in Philadelphia, PA. Kattywompus Press published High Pulp, a collection of his flash fiction, in 2017. Grey Book Press published his poetry chapbook, Continued, this year.