was sitting at the funeral holding a year’s worth of laughter inside.

there was a prescription for flowers and photos filled by the kids at the local pharmacy of traditional ritual. the only deep voice came from a priest talking to my mom in the front row. surely she hadn’t any adjectives to include with the surprise of my reaching out to the hotelier and requesting an early check-out. they all considered me catholic even though i hadn’t attended mass in over twenty years. the only reason they knew i was catholic for sure was on account of my baptism records being filed with my vital records. it was one of the items i never got around to scrapbooking. surely the kids found the rosaries in my jewelry box alongside a handful of costume jewelry saved from my grandmother that should only be worn in a period play from the 1920’s. i didn’t keep much in the way of things and never wanted to. always hoped it’d make it easier to close up my final dealings when all was said and done. everyone i loved was in that church except for him. and for once i didn’t feel ashamed for making room for no more than ten or so people in my heart.

i wanted to laugh cause there were at least a hundred or so folks there looking like they’d lost a best friend when the truth is can’t no one be friends with a hundred or so folks and still get so lost in the thickets that winter snow feels like warmth. i always prayed to have that much room in my heart but the hotelier said it was okay to leave before knocking on all those doors and waiting to be invited inside.

in the end, it felt good letting go of the wait and knowing they’d hold onto those rosaries and maybe see me in their prayers later that day.

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