how strange that in a heartbeat the pointed fingers & laughter transformed
so hurriedly into a feeble apology, an awkward long moment of red-faced shame.
he still wears glasses, talks to the rabbit, kept the skinny legs, loudmouth & all
(except probably stunned into silence, the legs crumpling beneath him in shock)
it's just his mother who's changed

empty condolences & halfhearted pats on the back just rub salt in the wound,
as the sympathizers all thank gods that they're not the ones kneeling by the gravestone,
wailing at the top of their lungs or whispering goodbyes,
breathing the scent of grass instead of her vanilla-cinnamon perfume—
or even worse, the pallid corpse lying face-up in a wooden box swallowed up by the earth,
the one whose fingers once ran up & down the handle of that gun, clutching its promises,
while in the end it fired a false hope of escape in her skull.