Ophelia's Lament

Poem by April Lindner

Beneath three days of clothes, compressed,

they waited to be washed. I leant

to fish them out—a clot, a knot—

the blood-red sheets that held his scent,

 

Grave men swooped in to bear him off,

his cooling flesh to ashes spent.

I crush them to my face at night,

the deep red sheets that hold his scent,

 

the ones he lay on, hour by hour,

 embossing into them his bent

and wasting frame—a question mark

in dark red sheets that hold his scent.

 

I cannot choose but weep to think

stray molecules are all that’s left,

and they too must disperse in air

from these red sheets that hold his scent. 

 

American Arts Quarterly, Spring 2014, Volume 31, Number 2