walking the thin line through the columbarium

imagine that you see me and take me down

from a dusty niche

funerary urns

hold the dry ash

ash goes in and is never meant to come out


hold the thin oil

grown stale from waiting at the graveside

I’d like to ask you a favour

shape me

but not like this

make me something less ceremonial

more practical

your wet fingers

describe the line from my waist up over my shoulder

in an unbroken curve

forming me from red clay

spin me

with each excited motion of your right foot

driving the treadle

I will turn to face you and then away

and then to face you again

as I change day to day

showing you new faces

delicate white with a long nose

or the gorgon at my breast

let us try to make sense of this vessel

so easy to break and ready to hold so much

as you release the large handles for carrying

and take hold of the slender handle for pouring

rest me in your lap

not on a table or the floor

keep me close

keep safe the contents

that you have filled me with


sweet water

coursing from me

that’s it, wipe my cheeks


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