“How to Ruin a Good Funeral” by David James

David James


Show up shit-faced
wearing your softball uniform
and sit in the front row
with the family.

Pass out bags of peanuts.
Drop the shells at your feet,
cracking them open
throughout the eulogy.

Offer to say a few remarks.
Once at the podium,
rattle off
dead-baby jokes.

Halfway through the ceremony,
stand up and shout,
“He moved! I just saw his hand move!”

If it’s someone’s wife,
find the husband and tell him,
“I’ll sure miss her. She could suck dick
better than any whore on Woodward.”

If it’s a husband,
saunter up behind the wife
and whisper in her ear,
“If you need a good poke,
here’s my number.”

As a last resort, if none of this works,
bend over and kiss the corpse
on the mouth
for two minutes, groaning and massaging
the chest. When you straighten up, say,
“Damn, just like old times.”

from Rattle #33, Summer 2010
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