Gather round and pay attention to your ticking body!
A wound, we turn inwards; what presence stares back?
Fossils churn under dirty fingernails
And pick at my body quarry;
A natural archaeologist of my own pathology.
We uncover lost worlds
I buried here
In the heart of my jungle, my darkness, my fallibility.
Granite tales of tears
From the rockface –
Once carried in monumental vessels
Appear like cracks and vulnerable veins.
Not the worst I had personally felt
But perhaps the most I have…
And the years dedicated to discovering
Always watching it disappear beneath the grit.
Ancient stories circulate in bloodstreams
To rise some deadened language
Whereupon forgiveness chokes
And concludes nothing much.
It’s okay to regret.
It says, smiling and salty
Rearranging its framework –
A crooked skeleton
Dredged from the dirt
Collapsing at the shoulders
And the ochre pelvic bone.
How long we have both been waiting.
A hardened hatred that dried the riverbed
Conspired with the burdensome secrets of
What knife did slice my skin and lungs?
What drug dissolved in my open drink?
What warehouse was I kept prisoner?
What silence did religion not sweep?
Too long has patience let germinate.
If blessed is the fruit of thy womb
Then show me the shoots of this tumulus.
I pacify! I pacify.
Your loss was mine to know also
At this consecrated ground full of holes
Nuzzled by the bullets of pitiless realities
I relinquish now
My ceremony of ancestral karma
Bows out to a finish
As the subterranean waters
Did nourish the hatchling of my medulla.
🎨/📷 by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Souma no Furudairi (相馬の古内裏) aka Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Spectre, c.1844