Entering the chapel, people wave,
half-call, half-whisper to each other, mime
amazement, as if it were incongruous
to encounter colleagues
at a colleague's funeral.

Reunions are one point of the occasion.
The person in the casket doesn't care.
We have come here to mourn,
bear witness, and assimilate; to eat
a slab of death's dark cake and have it too

and wipe our mouths before we separate,
still chattering, and spill into the street.