Rachel Beneway

Writing Your Obituary and Wondering if You Would Like It

This is not the place                     to discuss the time you chucked

a Playboy magazine in my middle-schooler lap            just for a hoot. No,

here your love for ugly dogs and riding lawn mowers is not important.

I do not mention                        how often                  I picture      the last time

I saw you.                 Instead, I must write the            year you were born,

and the one in which             you ceased to exist. Then, I must fill in the years

with where you went to college and some of your hobbies,

but only       the boring ones. This is not the place              to tell of my dreams

where you lick gardens            clean of weeds                 by the light

of a setting moon.                         There is no place,            here,       to note

that I’ve only seen my father,                  your only son,            cry once

before, but now he listens to messages you left him weeks ago

and falls      into fountain.     How do I say this                         in a place

that does not care about            the bang                  of your voice,

your neck, seldom seen without             the snake of a scarf,      the smell

of your house,            your handwriting, slow wink, onyx rings,             how much

I wish       I had called,                                     I wish

I had called,             I wish I had called,                        the weight

of your hugs

and the size of your


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Rachel Beneway is a senior English Education major and creative writing minor at SUNY Fredonia. She has previously been published in Gandy Dancer and Fredonia’s literary magazine, The Trident. She would love to befriend Junie B. Jones.