H. Antecessor

All halted elegance, you make a paper wolf for me 
then blow into a bottle for the howl. We are so merry 
in the belly of July, knees pressed together, kissing

as we eat, while west, in Gran Dolina, the intact 
skeletons are spread with tools around a cold hearth. 
Trouble yourself: they are deformed 

by a hammering for marrow along the longer 
bones, and on the templar, blackened. 
When man is a study of cut mark and fracture,

woman should be wary. I am not. Cloud-tails float 
high, uncombed, as I, with found weed braided 
simply in my hair, lean to your mouth.

Copyright © Joan Houlihan. From Hand-Held Executions, Poems & Essays (Del Sol Press, 2003). Used with permission of the author.