Becoming Subatomic

When flying, it's possible to carry
the cremated remains of a loved one 
in a TSA-approved urn that can be x-rayed.

Usually it can't be checked in with the rest 
of your luggage.  Some companies advertise
that you can send them miniscule amounts 

of the cremains, which they'll turn into
cloudy lockets tinted like amethyst or
polished like pearl. You can simply 

put them into a pouch with the rest
of your jewelry—more precious now 
than any resin or silver statement 

necklace. Why not just keep 
snippets of hair like the Victorians did, 
my husband asks— to the end,  wary 

of rules, penalties, the red tape of forms. Or
consider a record company which will press, 
for a fee, your ashes into a vinyl album. Moving 

over those places in the grooves, sometimes 
the needle will jump and make static, crackling 
sounds: your voice from the beyond, or simply

the sound of matter (your own), poured
into a sheet of PVC which could take 
a thousand years or more to decompose.

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