A Funeral Ending with Beyoncé
by Karisma Price
When Tracie shows us her bloated
pointer finger, there is no ponderosa near so I
knock my chest until redness comes down
the palm and God sends me every animal
to pray with. She thinks she’ll die this time,
from the cat’s bite. The infection is spreading
to the shoulder, though it is only the finger
that shows her sickness, fat and tan as
the belly of a roadrunner. Tracie decides Aryanna
and I should emcee her funeral: It will be in
New Mexico under the watchful eyes of ponderosa
pines who’ll coat her casket with the scent
of vanilla. Frybread is to be waiting on every
chair and I imagine my mother there holding
my speech so the grease from the bread doesn’t
bleed through the index cards. She’ll remind me
that when her father died, everyone forgot
he was struck by lightning as a young man.
I’ll forget to tell her I’ve been recording
our conversations so I can carry her
voice miles away from where she sleeps.
I stiffen at the thought of her death and knock
on the ponderosa, its bark redder than the amputated
finger Tracie made us promise to put in the pocket
of her dress—a lonely fire extinguisher that created
the fire. The mourners finish their bread and I jump
in the casket with her. Aryanna shakes
her head as she turns on the stereo to play
“I Was Here.” Who would the living
be without the dead in the ground?
Published July 7th, 2019
Karisma Price is a Cave Canem fellow and 2018 Best of the Net Nominee. Born and raised in New Orleans, LA, she holds an MFA in poetry at New York University. Her work has appeared in Four Way Review, Narrative Magazine, Wildness, and elsewhere. In 2018, Karisma was one of the writers named on Narrative Magazine's 30 Below 30 list of New and Emerging authors. Along with Kwame Opoku-Duku III, she is a founding member of the Unbnd Collective.
Darcy Lauren Briks (born 1982, Milford, CT) grew up in various suburbs throughout the country before settling down in Fairfield, CT for her formative years. This set the tone for her desire and ability to explore various styles and mediums throughout her career. She studied art and graphic design in a post-graduate program at Massachusetts College of Art and Design (Boston), then continued to explore different artistic mediums, including photography, acrylic painting and mixed media, throughout her twenties. Now, she mainly creates abstract acrylic paintings with a focus on color combinations and enjoys experimenting with new painting styles in each series. One of her latest series, Hutt Lagoon Pink Lake, features pinks, oranges, and emerald colors inspired by the aerial landscape views of a natural wonder on Western Australia’s coast. Her other new series, The Magna Series, makes abstractions of overarching global and personal issues using freeform shapes and marks. Themes include political issues, feminist and otherwise, climate change, motherhood, rebirth of self, and love.
After almost 7 years living in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Darcy now lives in Ardsley, NY with her husband and two young children. She is Founder and Creative Director of a boutique creative agency where she does branding, print and web design. Her first solo show, MAGNA CHROMA, was featured at Lucas Lucas in Williamsburg Brooklyn (through March 23, 2019).