Postmortem Cohabitation

Sharing a bathroom with your dead fiancée

is never easy, especially with her

shaving cream and razor still sunbathing

on the mildewed shower sill,

rusting late into the Florida afternoons.


Plus, she paces through all the mirrors relentless,

wearing that diaphanous summer dress, you know, the one

you loved best, the one you buried her in beneath

the dunes; and she’s always asking the same silly question,

holding up two silver hoops: does this match?


At dusk, more traces: her eyes, whistling

sawgrass, hair like braided bran,

her laugh a champagne cork,

and perfect alabaster teeth

suspended midair.


You quiver as she broods in the corner

still trying to decide what to wear

even though her wardrobe is scattered

across Goodwills in five counties and none

of the precious scraps you’ve kept complement her stilettos.


How long do these echoes last? It’s been one month

since the world ended for you both,

the hottest day on record (the bees are still gossiping

about it along the brittle grass) and though she tries

she cannot drink from the tap

which spouts only cheap wine and unfortunate rumors

such as these.





Originally from western Pennsylvania, Francis X. Altomare currently haunts various pubs between Galway, Ireland and South Florida. He was recently awarded the Oblongata Prize by the Medulla Review for his “City of Lost Things,” and his fiction and essays have appeared in various publications, mostly for earthling audiences. When not treating his chronic bibliophilia and avoiding direct sunlight, he teaches Theory, as well as a DIY course on how to take over the world, in South Florida.