once you’ve been a mortician

you never stop thinking

or dreaming

like one

.

beyond exposure

to the harshest chemicals

in existence

it is the psychological blitzkrieg

that is the true

occupational hazard

.

i am plagued by dreams

of having to embalm

my dead since i was 6 father

his features i set perfectly

but his hands won’t take the fluid

they are a sick yellowish color

with blackened fingernails

the fingers spread apart

ghoulishly

implying

death is always

grasping coldly toward us

.

as for the rest of humanity

my eyes see them

as softened fruit

about to spoil

.

each day

has become a discipline

in attempting

not to think

this way

.

as i find life

in all its pain and glory

to be worthwhile

and of

unfathomable beauty

.