Emil Bennett Asleep

slips into another scene
starring two brown eyes
caged by that hideous white
face; he’s not in the tragic role
as he beholds the body propped
to its position:

EMIL. I don’t know your face
anymore, Neil, except for your eyes
which seem burdened by knowing
of life’s closing. It’s been years since
I helped lower the skin you left
for the earth.

The brown eyes blink, fixing themselves
to the window.

EMIL. What I mean is, I don’t remember
the face I should remember, the face that was
really yours and not death’s contortion.
But memory won’t allow me
control. Your sons might
recall, hopefully—I’m sure. Neil?

They don’t respond, focused on glass
Emil cannot see through.

EMIL. This face isn’t even real
for I never came to witness your nearing
to finality; I feared guiding my hand
to your paled skin, and seeing
the remainder of your life trapped
in your eyes as the rest of the body caters
to cancer’s swelling. Neil resides within
those eyes, barely.

EMIL. You were a better person
than me, Neil, and a family needed you.
I would have been fine getting fucking nailed-in
if it meant letting you–

Finally, those brown eyes shut
out their light, and the curtains fall,
everyone applauds. Emil backstage
holding up a drink.

EMIL. Another homerun, Emil!

He smiles as everything begins
to fade to black.

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