Cremation Unbound

David A. Goodrum


The dead are piling up
in backlogs

and so the crematoriums are stepping up,
answering the angels’ call

for the COVID dying to get lit
after the recent New Year’s celebrations.

We usually ask the dying to pace themselves
(and their burning desires

[if not for themselves then for the living
and the need for aesthetic atmospheres])

and keep their fervor to ignite tightly
bundled, rather than spark our grief’s tinder.

But their remains remain, and the refuse of the dead
refuses to appropriately particulate

to acceptable standards, regulated levels.
For the first time, proud death is released

to disperse its haughty airs and heated retorts
in engrossing concentrations.


David A. Goodrum was born, raised, and educated in Indiana, and now lives in Corvallis, Oregon. His poems are forthcoming or have been published in Spillway, New Plains Review, The Nebraska Review, The Louisville Review, Gryphon, Windfall, and other journals.