By Jeff Saperstein

When a nurse told us they had cleaned you up,
we entered carefully, unsure of how to approach
you in your mystery.
Wasn’t there supposed to be
a way to talk to the dead,
a template even for this?

You did not resemble sleep.
No dreams danced beneath your eyelids.
Your body was already cool to the touch,
abstract, like a stillborn verb:
uninflected, without tense, mood
or person.