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
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
I remember this when my throat
is full of bile flavored
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

By Miriam Kramer


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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