He drops your eyes into a bowl of water. Like those Japanese packets
you think vaguely, remembering first tendrils then flowers.
He wraps your arms and legs in newspaper and packs them away.
He’s brought a special case for your breasts. It’s lined in velvet,
with a depression for each one.
He sets them in right-side up, so the nipples protrude like little doorbells.
He asks if you have anything to say. Yes, says the chunk of you that’s left.
Like your father, Death is good at looking understanding. So good that
when you’ve done, he thinks to pause before he continues,
your heart’s blood cupped in his hands.
Lola Haskins’ most recent poetry collection is How Small, Confronting Morning (Jacar, 2016). Her prose work includes an advice book and a book about Florida cemeteries. Among her honors are the Iowa Poetry Prize and two Florida Book Awards. She serves as Honorary Chancellor of the Florida State Poet’s Association.