Bonescape

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.

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