Excerpts from “You Don’t Have to Die Well for Me”

By Darren Demaree

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Thirty-four minutes late & what I want this to be is another breakdown & my imagination burying you while you are singing & gentle to my shoulders.  I want to be crazy & for you to be alive forever & if I can manage to change my beliefs before you come home that might just happen. 


Thirty-five minutes late & I have confirmed the existence of fire & I have taken small, heroic bites of my own flaming flesh.  If I can be wolf enough to remove a limb without removing a limb, then I can sell you on the idea that you being late doesn’t ruin the whole pack of my mind.  If I can sit here until the blue car enters the driveway, then nothing overly-human will happen.


Thirty-six minutes late & I have finished cooking dinner twice already.  I am lapping the kitchen.  I have started oatmeal for your breakfast tomorrow & thrown out that oatmeal, because if you’re already dead, then I don’t want to explain to the children why there is a bowl of oatmeal waiting for you at the table.  I want to transition you to their version of Heaven as quickly as possible & mothers in heaven don’t have oatmeal slowly cooling for them in Columbus, Ohio.

Darren Demaree