Bookstore Poem #373. Lives reduced to ash

Yes, this is a poem about cremation…

hangs out with Prince
above the atmosphere
where smoke goes
to get together
and disappear before the cops arrive

Union employees with white gloves and tongs
pick fragments of bone out of the ash
and drop them into bag-lined plastic buckets
while trying not to sneeze
through their protective masks

Jesus, John, and Cocteau’s ghost
each disappeared into a long mist
following interminable afternoons
that crawled towards finalities
they barely saw coming

The muted roar of the oven
is strangely silent now
but, as always
never for very long

As people bathe
next to the steps
descending into the river
a smoky sun sinks, silently
in preparation for the forgetting

(31 August 2018)



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