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Puzzle (revised November 20, 2008)

There he is, dead, alone
Silent and undisturbed
And you think that’s how he wanted to leave it.

You look above for signs of an angel
Taking away his soul
As in the image in catechism
And you see the image of an angel
Cleaning the slate of your soul
Showing indelible cracks
From your fall
Causing eternal pain
Causing unmanly tears always retained.

Your head bounces on an aluminum locker
Spins about unsaid words and questions,
Fragments of life locked in forever,
Mysteries unsolved
Wanting of Faith and Honor.

You venture the back of an index finger
On his one-day beard
Remembering lips prohibited long ago
From the freshly shaven cheek
Reserved for the good housewife
Now watching your gesture

And deeper you withdraw
Into the heap of puzzle pieces
That will never come together
To complete your picture.

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