“Looking Back” by Martha Hunter

That dead hummingbird on the sidewalk
today taught me nothing. I am back on my
bed, learning nothing new about your body
and thinking about what pants make my legs
look best. The bird’s legs shot straight into
the air, its deadness piercing the coming rain.
It was easier to contemplate my furniture
arrangement. The bed should face away from
my present. I can’t imagine anything more
perfect, knowing when I was born and when
I will die, not much else. It will be in the corner
of a room. No one will notice except a man who
is too polite to interrupt anyone’s conversation
to say something. When they find me, my
bones will be kept in a little box with the rock
that reminds me of Gramps. I don’t want to
be one of those dead people who is “with you”
wherever you go, sitting through those boring
prayer services when I died before I could
believe in anything at all. I don’t think I can
teach you anything, just because my body
doesn’t exist. I am afraid that there will be a
charity in my name, giving money to people
who don’t know anything about looking back.

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