Human Remains By Miriam Kramer

Human Remains

It is an inarguable truth that
in death, someone always finds the
body. The remains
that once contained the living
parts of a loved one.

On the bottom
bunk of my first college
dorm room, I traced the faded
apologies scrawled
into my arm, while across 300
miles of telephone wire, I listened
to my mother’s voice. She said
the pain of missing me was a newly
permanent part of her.
Like someone had cut
off one of her limbs, and it wouldn’t stop
bleeding.
14 years later this phantom
pain remains with her,
I see it in the pallor of her
lips, lack of color blending
in to tanned skin.
She cannot afford to lose any more
appendages.
I remember this when my throat
is full of bile flavored
“sorry”s,
The guilt a regenerating pit
rooted in my trachea.
This remorse laden asphyxiation
is all
I would bequeath
to her.

If I died today,
my father would find my body, standing
over me. I would leave him
with shoulders slumped.
We have the same posture, curvature of spine.
Neither of us
would ever
stand upright
again.

By Miriam Kramer

Biography:

Miriam Kramer studied Creative Writing at Pacific University, and works at a local bookstore. She lives in Bound Brook, NJ, with her faucet obsessed cat, Ernie. She is overly sentimental, and has been known to rescue items from other peoples’ garbage.


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