My little brother lies dead in a box.
He no longer exists. I believe in no soul.
His tall thin body will rest with the rocks.
I watch them lower it down the hole —
I, our parents, and a hundred friends.
The flowers are beautiful but they won’t last.
Among the trees and the community’s past,
among the headstones, he utterly ends.
Don’t preach to me about Jesus and dreams!
Don’t try to tell me what you think life means.
The eucalypt birds don’t talk about death.
Each of their shrieks is an unthinking breath
that tells me he’s not looking down through the air
on Mother’s sadness and Father’s despair.