An Hour with an Etruscan Sarcophagus
Not the carved seals or gold libation cups,
mummies, alabaster urns.  Two minutes
alone with this Etruscan sarcophagus and I’m
in tears.  Nobody saw; I totally got away with it. 
 
Something about the stonecutter’s wife, I think—
not the rich couple together in stone forever, not even
the man who carved the jowly face, the woman’s hands
on her husband’s chest, chest doughy even carved in stone. 
 
But the wife who knows they don’t get an Etruscan
sarcophogus, that even though her Etruscan husband
carves them, they can’t have this softening
of death, this consolation prize.  Last week, midnight 
 
in a friend’s kitchen, I burst into tears over what I don’t get,
wished aloud I’d gone to Goldman Sachs after college, how
then Josey wouldn’t have to work.  Rachel put her arms
around me, said  Shh.  Said, Ah, Jill, you’ve made all
 
the right choices.  You’ve done everything just right.  
I’m always wishing for money, for new siding,
just one job, a week off for Josey, off her feet.
But today, fresh from the Etruscan sarcophagi, I’m bigger,
 
wish for all of us, for you, for the stonecutter’s wife,
for your children’s children, such a friend in such
a kitchen, such a crying jag, an hour with an Etruscan
sarcophagus to think it all over, write it down. 
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