Creative Writing Ink February 2016 Winner

Over my dead body

Daniel Roy Connelly

In death                       my hair is ruled back with a loving brush, lines
are lifted miraculously from my face which wears a look of lightness in
repose, neither of which I boast simultaneously floating the road to my
next-and-final stop

nonetheless                 set fair with a dandy clip and sprig in my lapel
I’m dropping in to catch the general feel of things; busier than I thought.
Thanks, son, for changing me into Ozwald Boateng’s 1999 deep-
purple-moleskine-three-piece

now                             take the two coins away, let me assist with a
waft, watch my eyelids spring asunder, their focus intent on the beamed
ceiling, no trace of movement in the mouth – was that thunder? – repeat
the coins, the kids’ll love it

btw                              if this is someone’s idea of final rest, think again.
Dad’s soul went south, long overdue an eternity of forced creative
labour under careful distant watch.

Is that an erection        in my trousers? Is that why half the town’s
turned up to say farewell one final time to my as-yet-it-seems-not-
completely-passed-over corpse? I must say it looks fine.

Of vital importance       the dead remains: taxiderm me (sand from
Leigh-on-Sea), have me stand in perpetuity in one of Rome’s busier
piazzas, shrouded in Boateng, tourists’ll swear I never-as-much-as-
twitched and leave an abundance of straight-to-trust-fund coins which
will find their way to you,

There                           top end of the coffin, liking very much my
barefoot chic, scrubbing another tear away with your sleeve. I try to
touch your face, son, but I am no longer made of anything. I have only
come because you believe in me still like I told you to that day twelve
years ago when you asked me what you’ll do when I am gone.

Here’s the answer        and I’ll be on my way:
take from this final supine view everything you want to smirk at for the
rest of your life, work it on to the grandchildren: the joke-shop eyes, the
absurd couture, the surprise in the trousers, the fact your financial future
is furled, secured (albeit with many trips to the piazza’s bank), the fact
the empty purple moleskine prank the lid slides over is currently lost in
song all the way to the underworld. That’s what you can do now I am
gone.