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Crematorium

1400 – 1800 degrees, so it says
I watched a video to imagine you burning
Because for four years and four months, I can’t make sense of your absence
Even though I held your hands and touched your head
In your last moments on Earth,
Even then, even then
Still I can’t understand that you’re gone
I live as a ghost, not knowing the weight of my own existence
I give away love,
My life is like a piece of paper
Blowing in the wind

I watched the workers pack up a body
In a cardboard box, and tape it as though it were going to be sent somewhere
Imagine, they make boxes for such things
The burning of a person until they are nothing but ash
The orange of the fire lit up brighter when the box was put in
And the door closed
Meanwhile, I wept, my face in the sheets of my bed
Making sounds like an animal slowly bleeding
The neighbors may have heard, or they may not have
I really don’t care.
My father is dead – what else matters?
They prodded the burning embers with a metal rod,
The remnants of a skull disintegrating into dust,
The housing of a magnificent mind like yours in the end becomes nothing

Later, after however long – it seemed to be the next morning,
Because there was daylight again
(Do they only burn bodies after dark?)
They opened the doors and pulled out the residue
There were chunks of ash in the shape of bone
Wearing a mask as to not inhale the particles of human being,
They scraped the cinders into a can, put on the lid, and pressed a button
Some sort of blending and grinding machine
To make the larger fragments become nothing but powder
So no trace of the person remained
Tidying death into neat, nondescript bits
Of grayness that can easily blend into dirt, or into snow.

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Abandonment Fears

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Abandonment Fears

That little ticking clock in your mind
You start to feel good - and it feels so nice!
But no sooner do you feel good, you start to feel bad.
You want to squeeze answers from the past
Raise the dead and ask them why they didn't want you
Jolt to life the one that fell asleep
Chase down your supposed soulmate and ask:
Why? Why? Why?

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The Real Me

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The Real Me

This is the real me.
Here's where I have worry lines on my forehead
From thinking too much
Where memories of wearing my brothers' clothes
Make my face look like a boy's in the mirror

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Cosmos

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Cosmos

Immense expanse of time
Crackling with fearsome, energetic force
Lighted beacons of hope,
Or maybe danger,
Strung throughout the vastness of empty space
On invisible wire

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Loss and Redemption

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Loss and Redemption

A lonely wreckage of a battlefield can't be restored to what it was. The blood cannot be removed. Those blades of grass that were trampled can't be sewn back together. The trees that were burnt cannot be revived.

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How to Survive a Flash Flood

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How to Survive a Flash Flood

Sometimes, the rain in our lives comes so heavy and fast
That it floods the rivers of our minds and our hearts
Debris from our lives is swept downstream
And whatever is familiar is dismantled

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Missing

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Missing

Tonight I dive below where my deepest dreams reside
In my heart’s most aching space
And I feel that hollow place
Where I heard your voice before I knew its sound

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After the Storm

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After the Storm

After the storm, there may be found many things
Bits of wet newspaper torn like broken birds
Tree limbs bent down and scattered
Or simply the cleansing of the air
And the spread of new colors in the sky

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Some Endings

Some books end before they are finished.
Some truths are never revealed;
Some happy endings don't come to pass;
Some grief is bigger than the empty hole left where a person was;
Some grief also includes the hole where the person was not.

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Not-knowing

The wind of not knowing
crashes into me
even through the walls,
and through this damp, expectant stillness.

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Trust

I am afraid.

Don’t you know what you’re asking of me?
When you get burned, even warm water feels hot
Here I am, running through fire.

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