The message was brief: She's dying. She wants to see you.
In twenty years of marriage, nothing was ever that simple.
Even the divorce we both wanted turned into a thousand-
piece jigsaw puzzle. Curiosity trumped all other feelings,
so I made the trip. Her relatives greeted me with affection.
No one wanted to ruin the final wish of a dying woman.
They led me into the room where she had been propped up
on pillows while she waited for my arrival. She looked like
Skeletor, a Masters of the Universe character our son
played with before he went through a windshield searching
for the dryad in the tree. With all the guards having fled,
her skull planned its escape from prison. It did its best Edward G.
Robinson imitation. Nyaaah, try and stop me now ya lousy screw,
nyaaah. Then she gave me one of her patented cliche smiles.
What the hell,. I smiled back. The others left so we could be
alone. I sat down by her bedside, held her hand, and bent over
to whisper in her ear, I am going to piss on your grave.
Jimmy Pappas received an MA in English Literature from Rivier University. His poems have been published in such journals as Atticus Review, Dead Snakes, Kentucky Review, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Off the Coast, Boston Literary Magazine, and War Literature and the Arts. He is a recent first-prize winner of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire's National Contest.