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Issue 18 Cover by Cass Garrison.jpg

Fahmidan Journal / Issue 18 

Imagining My Funeral During a Company Meeting

By Olivia Ivings

A man with whom I had a one-night-stand

does the eulogy. He paces the pulpit

of a church I never entered until now

for a religion I don’t believe in and clears

his throat before quoting Dickinson:

“I am out with Lanterns looking for myself.”


He muses, “She said this before jumping

in my bed, where I gave her chlamydia.”

My grandmother chuckles and slips a flask

of vodka from her purse, pours it into sweet tea

before taking a swig. My mother doesn’t cry

but sneaks beans into the pockets of mourners.


Even in death, I’m a volcano on the verge

of erupting, the pressure of the absence

of a lived life. My friends sit in school desks

in the corner where the organ should be;

they hurl spitballs and flick paper footballs

into my casket. A tiny spider builds a web


from the blue lace with which my first

wedding dress was made, while my ex

stands outside with a weedwacker; he wants

to keep floral arrangements away. We each hold

grief separately from the one beside us,

all stroke the same sallow hand, soon bone.

Olivia Ivings

Olivia Ivings

Author / 

Olivia Ivings lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Her work has appeared in Poet Lore, FOLIO, and Bellevue Literary Review, among others.

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