I took my sister to the boneyard
when she refused to accept that any skull but her own
might have its strange, flat patches.
She was naive and expected crania,
on principle, to be round as the spinning
Earth. No use explaining
how calcification eludes such calculus.
And so we wandered the white forest
with its shadows appearing not as black
but as other shades of white.
How amazing, the trees,
when they are jointed, their branches ossified.
Also the ferns, each leaflet like the parts
of a toe. Bright fleshless squirrels
and wandering, naked moose.
Molly was vulgar and asked a passing man
if we might find a river of marrow.
Could she not hear the rattling
of wind across his hollow ribs?
Shame on her for forcing a confession
of how dry it is ’round these parts.
Or was it my own fault,
having ignored the request
to leave wet garments at the vestibule?
I may have been to blame. I,
the eldest sister. Still, it was my younger
who pointed at passersby
and howled in appreciation.
“Stop, stop!” cried one skeleton.
“You’re looking at me like I have meltaway bones!”
And indeed, Molly was salivating
over the poor man’s limbs.
Damn that sister of mine,
with her flat skull and infamous appetite.
Haley Kolding is a sophomore in Saybrook College.