CHARCOAL Flying Island Volume 7, No. 2 I once bought a shirt for a dead man at J. Brandenburg’s in the mall. A lively, noisy crowd cheerfully jostled for pre-Easter bargains. I looked through the racks of medium-sized shirts, imagining the curious stares of those around me, the woman shopping for a dead man. I searched for a casual shirt, maybe a little dressy but he always said he’d never wear a tie, not even to his own funeral. I picked out a striped one, short-sleeved, the weather’s been warm for this time of year. Two women laughed and talked beside me. “Oh, I could have died!” the dark-haired one giggled, bumped into me. The cashier was vibrant. “What a lovely shirt! Is it a gift?” I nodded yes, “For my brother.” She removed the price tag so he wouldn’t see it, and folded the shirt carefully into a bag. Tomorrow his friends will pause at the casket and remark how this shirt is the color of his eyes.

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