Last Rites

They gathered around the old woman
in the hospice
As the priest gave the last rites
And answers to prayers were summoned from above
To comfort them.

I loved a boy once, she said. He was pure when he fell.
I held him in my arms and kissed him.
In his last letter he told me he was keeping himself for me
That he was never going to leave without me.
He comes back when I’m dreaming.
He places fingers over my eyelids and his smile protects my back.
He has turned into a white owl perched on the eaves.
His hands have changed into wings to take me away
Only then is my soul ready.

Go then I said. Be with him.

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