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MARION TRACY


The Necessary Words


At the secular funeral, there were no words arranged;
      they were everywhere and nowhere, but not necessarily
spoken. Some to be written in a book; they were touch
      but not intimate enough, not daring to disturb
the skin, not asking for recognition, reminding, not memories
      of what was hoped for, not smiles as you catch the eye.
There was no praying of words to loosen; they were nothing
      to bind with, to connect the tears, to help
the body spaces close, to remove
      the judgement. They were missing; not there to fill
the cracks, to blow into and fill up the
      pregnant pauses, the hunger to pretend,
the urge never to be empty. There were
      no words of song to stretch and string
the puppets upwards, no open mouths, close
      breathing in each other’s breath, no notes
to spiral inwards, shooting sound like
      huge waves falling, high, sharp
breaks, cutting into, pulling out handfuls
      of feeling, of wet joy, of each together reaching.
No clothing of rhyme to crumple, fold, shake out
      comfort and throw over, to reach out
and conceal, reveal the too large grief,
      the stitches in the pocket, the gift of dressing.
No necessary words to kill the silence
      the closed curtaining of fear,
the naked sobbing, pulsating like tension.
      Silence being dropped like a glass,
the fragments hanging; a stricken love with nothing
      to say, all the tears, stones, flowers.
All the necessary words not there
      to loosen the silence, to spread the cloth.
Nothing to touch, to hold back the spinning.
      No words, no words, the necessary words.