A cremation

A Cremation

(The Ganges, Varanasi)

One cannot reach enough into the sadness;
it reigns supreme.
You cannot split a cloud without
the thunder shrieking a cataract 
in your ears.

If I were to describe loss, I would
be like a mountain viewed from
a great distance: motionless, yet
always weeping.

Yet they say you should have courage.
I am a lion with a broken claw.
If you could contain agony, then let
the lion speak. In the end 
it too is made up of water.

Stretch out each footstep before
the hinges of our feet seize. 
Ask the planet to stop spinning. 
Ask a child to stop laughing. 
Describe for me your pain bundled up
in a pyre set alight and now floating.


To think, we danced like silverfish 
gnawing at the whitespace 
between words
cutting out the empty pieces 
to be rid of darkness.

You were my Boudica, my Jane Eyre. 

But I was never your Prasutagus, your Rochester. 

We were unread books
lost on the shelf between 
Ferrante and Frankenstein.
Yet we loved; our hands
floating through one another like ghosts.

About the contributor

Lincoln Jaques holds a Master of Creative Writing, and his poetry and fiction has appeared in collections both in New Zealand and the US, including Mayhem, Fast Fibres, JAAM, Poetry New Zealand Yearbook, Shot Glass Journal, Fresh Ink: A Collection of Voices from Aotearoa New Zealand and Flash Frontiers. He was a finalist and ‘highly commended’ in the 2018 Emerging Poets.

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