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Tim J Brennan

What Remains

In some regions of China,
a reputation is considered
proportional to the number
of guests who attend a funeral;
strippers are often hired
to pull crowds

In Madagascar, the dead
are often pulled from graves
and carried about, body danced
above attendees, once
every seven years

Stone ground in Tibet
makes burial impossible,
so the dead are chopped,
mixed with flour and left
to be eaten by scavenging birds

My own father is stored
in a porcelain urn; at the funeral,
I suppressed an urge to pilfer
some of his ashes for fear
of not knowing which body part
was being placed into my hand or
being smudged beneath my fingerprints


Tim J Brennan’s poems can be found in Talking Stick, Drowning in My Own Fears, TheOriginalVanGoghsEarAnthology, and other nice places. Brennan’s one act plays have been performed in Bethesda, San Diego, Chicago, and most recently in Bloomington, ILL.


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