Bridget Clawson

Tiny Ghost Bundle

Do you remember the Heartbreaker concert in 1990?  It is always with me since you died.  Today I arrived at the coroner’s office to collect your death certificate.  I told the clerk your name – such a painful sound, my beloved. She asked me if I heard the news that Tom Petty just died, and she wept.  Other clerks were discussing a tiny ghost bundle named Baby Sullivan.  They mocked the mercurial coroner for storing it in his office temporarily due to lack of space; first clerk shouted shut the fuck up and dabbed her bleeding eyes with her white cuff.  I wanted you there, to sing to them Sleep tight babyWe’re alright for now.  Outside, a horizontal hail-and-wind storm whipped me about, bent me over and blew your certificate into the Pacific.  An angel-winged gingko tree sprung out of the earth and landed onto the courthouse playground - scattering pieces of nested hairless robins.  Sleep tight baby.  Are you trapped between extreme bravery and atrocities in an afterworld?  There blows my very own soul - a faint and murdered blotch of black smoking soul dancing with the ghost of Baby Sullivan to incantations of your limbo.  I remember you said Petty was looking my way and we both believed it and screamed to the planets.  I am running now to chase after your death papers…for your murmurings, dreams, cold slab facts, your skeletal parchment cadaver: Sleep tight, baby.  We’re alright for now. 

Bridget Clawson writes in EdmondsWashington and is a rockhound.  She has been published in literary journals and has written two books about her encounters with grief and starting life over.

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