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January 2017, vol 12 no 4

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Autumn Noelle Hall

A Dying Art

Does one really need a body when the trumpet blows? And if so, what body will it be? Will the righteous rise, zombie-like, trailing rags of last apparel from their shriven bones? Or will hosts-made-flesh, like so much pancake makeup, restore them to a pasty semblance of their former selves? I suspect lifelong pulpit threats of hellfire make cremation seem torturously pagan.

give me the pyre
over the pickling
over the crypt
bid my body thanks
and let it go

Her time for questions ended and answers begun, my sister-in-law’s body meets fire twice: once to reduce her again to her birth weight, and a second time at the end of a glassworker’s torch. Substantiated and threaded, her belief that much beauty remains, even after death.

the weight
of this lamp work bead
with a spiraling sea
of her ashes