After you left us, I got the call
Her cremains are ready, she said.
The what? I said
The cremains…cremated remains.
She explained, testily. Like… duh.
Oh, I say Her ashes.
What I wanted to say –
never be called cremains.
Of course I angry-Googled it –
industry term, euphemism,
first found in a newspaper obituary in 1947.
Discovered that her body,
once incinerated, was swept from
the furnace with a metal broom
and looked nothing like ashes (or cremains)
but like sand and bleached sticks.
A desiccated high-tide at the beach.
I found myself admiring our stubborn
big bones which apparently
always refuse to yield to 1800 degrees.
Yet even they must
submit to process,
in a Cremulator
to a uniform grind
to fit the urn.
to make the gone,
and their place inside us,
take up the least space possible.
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