The Necklace


After my brother died I made myself a necklace from his bones.

He was only three years old, and the necklace looks just like a tiny hand.

When people see me with it on they go ooh and ah and ask me what it is.

I tell them life is complicated and that sometimes people die too young.

They agree with me and ask what that has to do with my cool necklace.

I say nothing but think about my brother clapping his hands like a seal.

"In the garden," I say, "there are no instruments to keep track of time."

Later at the party I’ll wear a tie, and people will tell me I look different.

After seven shots of Wild Turkey they will look different to me as well.

The one young girl in the green dress seems so empty when she smiles.

And that makes me realize I have no idea when to turn my clock back.

I bang my head on the bar, trying to keep time with the music.

An old guy sees what I’m doing and starts banging his head too.

Somewhere in the distance a message goes straight to voicemail.  

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