The crunch of footsteps; him on a mission. On one hand the slow drag of shovel against gravel, sharp and grating and tearing eardrums one stone at a time; on another ragged breaths from imploded lungs, a towel for the sweat that does not fall from his eyebrows, the casket.
He finds good soil and he digs, and digs, and digs: bends over, carves out parts of earth’s flesh, throws it over his shoulder where it gathers into a mountain. He digs and digs and digs until the only sound in his broken ears is the ocean’s waves coming from behind him, somewhere past the mountain.
He throws the casket into the ground. Wood breaks as it hits soft earth; splinters at the edges where the hinges fall apart. The ocean is quiet but its waves pound his head, washing over every corner of his mind that is not pervaded by inescapable grief.
The casket bleeds open; it pours into the soil flowing constellations of stars, shining rivers of a multitude of galaxies spinning around the central figure of repose: a universe. His, once, long ago; at its heart a lonely flower burning in the brightest, warmest colour.
An ocean spills from his eyes; all is quiet; the mountain moves for him, and falls into the grave of its own accord.