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The Funeral Director by JBMulligan
published in Volume 6, Issue 3 on September 1st, 1999

It's important to be
drably and crisply garbed
and impeccably groomed.
They expect it
and it shows respect.

Before the door is opened
he drifts in silence from room
to room, checking the flowers, the chairs,
the coffins pure, exquisite amber shine.

Sometimes he pretends that they were friends.
A scrap of conversation
floats by like a hint of smoke -
tennis game or just outside of Rome -
and he thinks, Ah, yes,
he always loved that so.

On the way home, he stops
for coffee, and absently watches the girl
as she pours: some rouge, some powder
for the wisps of hair above her lip.
She sings a love song softly
and he smiles and looks away.

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