Did you know that when a
a body is cremated, the
skull explodes from the
Then the flesh is engulfed
in a furnace–the cardboard
box the corpse is ferried in is
lost to a sanitary inferno.
You are left with just a heap
of ash that used to be a person;
all that remains are flakes,
chips of bone.
My aunt was cremated.
She died alone with sullen, sallow
skin; dead for three days so the
teeth and skin was black and green
with decay, disease, the
stench of alcohol mingled with
utter filth and death.
It was the only option.
She wasn’t presentable…
but suicide is never presentable, is it?
I remember the funeral.
I remember how numb I felt,
how ashamed of what she had
become. Only the tears came
because everyone else was crying,
because everyone else knew this
loss. Everyone looked at me as
though I was a monster because I
did not weep, did not even move
The loss did not sink in
until months had passed and
the stench of dog shit left the house.
She was reduced to ash, taken atop
an archaic mountain cemetary and
buried. What good is cremation
if you’re put in the ground anyway?
She was a free spirit; she
deserved to be set free, but
that kind of freedom comes with a price
and by God, did she pay it.
Sometimes I can still smell the
bittersweet odour of vodka and perfume.
You can’t burn away that smell.