Seeing the Bones
the actual plummet, middle-of-the-night tired,
I see the bones within my own flesh, lingering,
x-rayed in mind's vision, skeleton moving
as I adjust sprawl to spare hips that night
given usual agony. Now I see the bones of hands
and arms as well. Some awakening to see the skull
behind the skin. What's this for? A presentiment
of eventual ends? A warning more local, personal?
There's no sense to it, just vision. In the morning,
though, it's still there, this sense of bones of hand
and forearm and thigh shining through the flesh.
Argument with basic self that armor is unnecessary.
Release those batting layers no longer needed to pad
against the world's black-blooded suffering. Enlivened
to see the ribs of skinny boys show through, attractive
to tickle as well as scan. A young man's armor
of brush, pencil, sketch pad. Long-lined torsos
hatched with fish-bone shadows. Another acting-out
by basic self to try to harden into steel, but one thing
the younger self never wants to learn is the immiscible.
Open that heart, break through those glowing ribs,
fire within something like the sun. Heartburst and live.
Losing armor is not dying. There are gaps between bones.
These fingers held together by nothing so much as will.
Once or twice, maybe more, i've seen the cold dissolving
into atoms, division of the flesh into atomic clouds.
Seen flesh made galaxy, self spun into void.
Lost arms to aspen, thighs to red mesa sandstone.
Once or twice, at least, an emptying of self into self
into void. It leaves its marks. I'm not afraid to see
my own bones, I say. There they are. Is that blue halo
radioactive particle spin? Maybe it's just the x-ray light
from a long billion light-months powering its way
through gas cloud and flesh alike. Some things just
seem more solid, just seem dense.
Cold memory of dying and living again. Hot breath
of vast beasts snuffling your hair to wake you. Make a
fist in a night full of burning horses. Still, they run.
What is left here but the recordings? Shut them off,
they are as useless as memoirs no one dictated,
no one wants to recite. A semblance of ceremony
to want these bone-bound books at all. What have I ever
lost by dying? Just those scars I needed no more.
There isn't much to be said with missing throats.
Just that jaws will clack, teeth will rattle,
and the pound of flesh taken has lost itself
in a memory of marrow bone.
That sunlight feels bountiful good on skin. Pressure
of heat. Thigh-bones sheath themselves back in
muscle holsters. Back and shoulders where the sun kisses.
There used to be less hair around that scar. It trembles
in the freshet. Have we awoken yet? Nearly. Nearly.
Still forearm bones seem revealed, indirect sunlight,
blue beneath the skin. Long there, long passing.