The Headstone

I couldn’t resist the deal. Headstones for sale. Going out of business. Minor flaws. All sales final. “What better way to express the transitoriness of life,” he said. Unfortunately my headstone slowed me down. On an airplane, I had to reserve two seats. In restaurants, I plopped it down on the table. “What comes after the dash?” my girlfriend asked. At family functions, we would take pictures of me and my headstone. Once it got so heavy, I put it down in a field. It started to grow roots. On my birthday, my girlfriend gave me a handcart.

Patrick Lawler has published six collections of poetry, the most recent of which is Child Sings in the Womb. He has published a novel, Rescuers of Skydivers Search Among the Clouds, and a collection of short stories, The Meaning of If.