portion of the artwork for Tiff Holland's story

Rhubarb
Tiff Holland

We’re playing dead in the grape arbor, a metal frame but no vines, the iron outline of a coffin you can see through. You’re the grandma in the dead pose in the grass. Me and Matty grab your wrists and ankles to center you just right. You keep your eyes closed, make yourself dead-heavy while we swing you into place. Your mouth starts to open when we sing the only hymn we know. You can’t resist. I grab the nearest leaf, rhubarb, and shove it in your mouth while we finish singing. You make yourself 45 pounds of stiff as the neighbor kids move in to be pallbearers. We lay you out in the hole we’ve been digging to China with the tablespoons Mom gave us on one of her pull-her-hair-out days. You fit perfectly. We cover you with lilacs before we add the dirt. Later we’ll play sex, but it won’t be half the fun. Angel Gustino will get poison ivy from the bandage you’ll slip into her shorts, but now we arrange the petals over your eyes and nose and mouth. Flower Face, we call you, until the Resurrection.


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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 49 | Spring/Summer 2017