Monday, January 4, 2010

White-Bone Meditation

A skull unearthed
Jaw hung agape
As if its former tenant
Could express shock at death.
It’s the same story
Larvae, puss, putrefaction
The settling of an old score
A lingering debt renewed
With each birth
A harvest of souls brought forth
Naked, picked clean
Like the sound of a harpsichord
As it trills upward.

What if
Your neighbor suddenly was
A skeleton, knocking on your door
With bony knuckles?
Or your good friend, a grinning
Visage of bone and teeth?
What if the whole street, the town,
The world were filled with skeletons:
The young woman seductively swaying
Her exposed pelvis, the busy
Executive holding a cell phone
To a non-existent ear,
Skeletons in restaurants devouring
What’s left of flesh
Skeletons in court passing judgment
On themselves,
Skeletons lusting after other bones?
Would you have compassion?

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