Elegy For A Found Animal Skull

by Jaden Fong



I’m knee deep in furling ferns
and I’m smelling a tantrum

coming on from those asphalt
clouds. Waiting for the waterworks,

I hold this little skull close to my chest,
cradle it like the mother, father, brother

it never had, or that never stayed.
I’m not sure what got to you,

little one. I’m not even sure
what you are: raccoon, possum,

feline. All I see is a small lightning
crack separating your orbit into two.

Tracing this fissure with my fingers,
I do not think that we are so different

after all. You may as well be human,
and I may as well be you. I would hope

that you would treat me with similar
kindness, but if you could identify my skull,

if you could tell what creature I used to be,
I would not be surprised if you did not.

No, I would not blame you if you saw
this oblong, champagne white cranium

and refused to even consider it shelter
from an angry rain. I would not blame you

if you did not wonder whether this industrial
skull would rust, as I am wondering now.


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