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Memorial Service

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Forgiving the living is hard
enough, shrugging away all the wounds
delivered with kisses and curses,
the thousand and one petty slights
that bled me to an albino shade,
that shadow me even in dreams.

But the dead are altogether
another matter, not easily to be
enlightened and quite beyond regretting
anything (as far as we can tell)
and most likely indifferent to
our common currency of tears.

And so it is that pissing on your grave
doesn't please me as much as it ought to.
Now that you have passed beyond
all blaming and shaming, what can I do
but rise and proclaim sincere admiration
when my turn comes around to speak?

Source: Poetry

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This poem originally appeared in the July 2002 issue of Poetry magazine

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Memorial Service

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