Do Not Cross

Written based on my first experience with a dead body while interning with the forensic unit in my hometown.

Glossy yellow ribbon advises caution: Crime Scene
A come-hither invitation for the curious, the intrusive
Bewildered faces peer beyond, eyes peeking, resting on you
Barriers blur and you don't feel like an insider yet

The low timbre of your supervisors' voice garners your attention
Hides in every shadow and corner of the still room
Your inhale, exhale, a camera snaps, steady comforting whisper
Creates music you'll never be able to forget

Black powder coats every surface, including your lungs, your nostrils
Makes it hard to breathe, hard to sneeze
Fingerprints appear in a swirl of chaos on wood, on metal, on plastic
Tiny lines spell out testimonies of truth

The acrid smell of decomposition assaults your senses
Makes your eyes water, your blood go cold, your head ache
You feel the stench cling to your skin, seeping into your pores
Smells like ketchup with a dash of vinegar and something sinister

Dark red spreads across thread-bare carpet, slowly consuming the fabric
Painting a trail of despair, misfortune, a life lost
Boiling lava looking for it's next victim:  the Green Intern
Your first day, trying hard not to pass out from the heat, the smell, the situation

He's lying face down beside the grimy twin bed, motionless
His bloated stomach, neck, limbs, proof that he's not sleeping
But he's no longer a he, just a body now
Consumed by life and death and everything in between

The End

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