While Seeking to Understand Her Brother’s Death

My youngest daughter requests facts. 

Floral-printed cards litter the counter,
attempting to temper our loss
with calligraphy in pastel hues. 

Grief is a journey, curved letters proclaim. 

But no map exists for this dark forest. 
No charted stars beckon from the endless, inky night.
Trail markers blur; the path doubles back on itself, 
creating an infinity our son will never see. 

My daughter must know:
Where is his body now? At this moment?

My mind searches for euphemisms to warm 
metal slabs. To keep her brother, terrified
of the dark, out of the frozen pitch. 

He’s in a drawer. Like the lasagna?
Are the organs removed like Egyptians? 
If we sprinkle him in the lake, will the fish eat him? 
When we eat the fish, will he then be in us? 


Camille Lebel, educator and mother to seven, lives on a small hobby farm outside of Memphis, Tennessee. She’s published in Rogue Agent Journal, Literary Mama, Sledgehammer Lit, Sparks of Calliope, Black Fox Literary Magazine and more. She enjoys writing, traveling, and horse-whispering. She largely writes in the school car-line as a way to process special needs parenting, child loss, religious trauma, and more.