A Memory of Bones

bones build the house
bones in the entryway
my father’s in here
bones house the self
mother’s in the attic
when the dogs come
long after Easter morning
a pile of bones resurrected
saved from the demolition
I can say nothing
that does not fly back home
single bone of the skull meshing together
in the first few months
heat of the day where a child won’t wake up
my heart stutters within the rib cage
feel it deep in your bones
the weather of being human

what will you bring when you come
to rescue me?
an open hand
makes a nest of bones
water holds the bones
bones build the house
a lifetime
of memories
in a waterproof box
what will you choose to take out
when you go in, go under
when you come up for air
what is the first word you’ll let
fly loose from the tongue
bone by bone the body constructed
rebuilt when broken
if set if set if set to take off
tiniest bones listening
the sound of something slipping
not even the body built to specification
once a bayou ran through here
here is the weakest point
a broken bone never truly mends
cries itself to sleep in the rain

who are your bones?
the house
empty playground
neck of the river
neutral ground
stand of trees
an alley behind
littered with plastic dishes
no death here was easy

there was no one to hear
bones shifting
in the home you will never leave

Megan Burns
from her book Memorial+Sight Lines
Lavender Ink, 2008

used with permission of the poet

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