I might have a drinking problem when it comes to death. By Julia Gaskill

I might have a drinking problem when it comes to death.

When I say I do not like funerals,
it is not to say others find them quaint, just

that I see the gathering dwindle of a family
I no longer know, count the number of faces

given over to the ghosts. I wonder who will be
next, which one of us will exit stage right. The

Italian blood in me shrinks with each new casket,
and family funerals are now an excuse to gaze

bleary eyed at photo albums while chugging wine
in bathrooms, like it’s my last day, like this is it,

like this is the thing I fear so much and
maybe, in this moment, it cannot touch me.

I’ve been imagining a grave for myself longer
than I can comfort a response. I do not

like funerals for all of the reasons you’d
expect, but the main one still stings,

relentlessly suffocates. There is a memory
stuck in the back of my throat of a thirteen

year old girl, all pigtails and overalls, who sat
front stage center for a funeral she never

could have fathomed. My father tells me I am
not social enough at funerals, but he doesn’t

know of the wine sloshing in my gut or all the
photo albums I’ve consumed, scouring pages

for every picture I could find of her. I imagine
a world where her blood never betrayed her

and I do not hate funerals. A world where
saying goodbye does not require three cups

of wine or the quiet or poetry. A world where
the word “mom” is not a sucker punch;

where my family is not a collection of ghosts
I can no longer speak to, except for when

they visit in the night, whispering how there
is an empty grave – waiting.

By Julia Gaskill


Julia Gaskill is a professional daydreamer from Portland, Oregon. She was both a staff writer and producer for the Pencil Ink Production’s web series “The Misselthwaite Archives,” and she will be reprising both roles on the studio’s new web series “The Cloisterham Case Files.” Most recently, Julia competed in the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been featured on FreezeRay Poetry, Thirteen Myna Birds, Front Row Central, and Voicemail Poems, and she was nominated for Best of The Net 2015 for one of her pieces. It goes without saying that she loves Muppets more than you. Find her poetry and information about available chapbooks at http://geekgirlgrownup.tumblr.com

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