before it was a metaphor
First scrape fat from skin,
turn to sun what never felt light,
in vitriol bathe open wounds,
sear to yellow the inner vellum
until flesh and hair no longer seem animal matter.
Some fold quarto, others folio;
make flocks of pages to lay in wait.
Sharpen a feather,
dip the shaft in iron gall.
Write angel-pin philosophy,
the brewer’s daily tabs,
a festal grocery list, poems
and psalms for a choir gathered to praise
God. Until you think, no more:
Take a knife to dead hymns,
rub out names, erase histories,
cut leaves to strips, use them within
other spines, wood or bone shells.
So buried is living in the skeletons
and tissues we open on velvet cradles.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 4.
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