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Image by Edward Kucherenko

After I Burn

Ashes were once stars, feels the poet strongly as he talks about how he wants his ashes used after his life on earth ends.

Fatuous prayers? None, please,
no mawkish memories from
the audience or illogical tears /
when the time comes just spoon
my ashes into a Jack-in-the-box toy /
sneak them into the pepper shaker
at the Waffle House / put them
in an hourglass and use them
to time open mics / save them for
all those foreheads on Ash Wednesday /
spread them on an icy sidewalk /
or use them to polish the good china /
there is no need at all for a
gathering together to honor ashes /
revere the fire instead / for ashes
are nothing but ashes
that once were stars.

Tom profile.jpg

Tom Barlow is an Ohio writer of poetry, short stories and novels.  His work has appeared in journals including They Said,  Trampoline, Ekphrastic Review, Voicemail Poetry, Hobart, Tenemos, Redivider, The North Dakota Quarterly, The New York Quarterly, The Modern Poetry Quarterly, and many more. See more at

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