Mourners cup elbows in the vestibule.

Lipsticked mouths drop snippets.

Titters break apart niceties.

Undigested words fly into vapid space.

Where is Stephanie?

The prelude, “Jesus Christ, My Sure Defense,” extinguishes chatter.

The bereaved slink onto raspberry cushioned pews.

A soprano trills.

“Amazing grace…that saved a wretch like me!”

Where is Stephanie?

Ministers proclaim Christian, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Islamic texts on death and afterlife.

Dense prayers eviscerate faith.

Eulogies drone into the afternoon.

Quarter hours drag into hours.

Where is Stephanie?

A cardiologist effected premature death of her body.

Religious leaders bury her spirit in theological abstractions.

Where is Stephanie?