by Cassandra Phillips-Sears

Will you walk out of the air, my lord?
Into my grave.
Hamlet, II.ii

For all the ways of dying, there are four
for scattering the ashes of the dead.

You lay your body down on those flat seas
as if they'd been your bed.
The lace of bedclothes mocked by drying salt,
and a wave-lolled head.

Laying sleepless on the parapet
your eyes strained to pluck red-burning Mars.
The queen your mother's heart burns much the same
though it is knit from flesh and flesh's scars.

The roofs on roofs of Elsinore
lay each on each like fungus on a tree:
The sun's indifferent passing over town,
the points of narrow houses cast to ground.

Ophelia climbs the tallest, coldest stair:
below, the crying gulls lay flat
on seas of yellow grass
knotting patterns on the glassy planes of air.

Cassandra Phillips-Sears is a writer, artist, and sometime gardener — though, sadly, she lives much too far north to cultivate her beloved pineapples. Her short fiction and poetry has appeared in Scheherezade's Bequest, Jabberwocky 2, Not One of Us, Place/Time, Sirenia Digest, and in A Field Guide to Surreal Botany by Two Cranes Press. To find out more, please visit her website.

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