no widow,
no weeping,
no cries of grief.
there’s talk of a son,
but no son;

just chalky faces
of men—stoic
and distant
and steeped
in tradition.

a few minutes more,
i’ll close the box
and lock him away
from strangers’ eyes;
that shameful rouge,
that cruel disguise,

to darkness,

then to the dirt,
then to the worms—

nemo ante
mortem beatus

no man is blessed
before his death.