Those are my bones rifted and curled, knees to chin, among the rocks on the beach, my hands splayed beneath my skull in the mud. Those are my rib bones resting like white sticks wracked on the bank, laid down, delivered, rubbed clean by river and snow. Ethereal as seedless weeds in dim sun and frost, I see my own bones translucent as locust husks, light as spider bones, as filled with light as lantern bones when the candle flames. And I see my bones, facile, willing, rolling and clacking, reveling like broken shells among themselves in a tumbling surf. I recognize them, no other's, raggedly patterned and wrought, peeled as a skeleton of sycamore against gray skies, stiff as a fallen spruce. I watch them floating at night, identical lake slivers flush against the same star bones drifting in scattered pieces above. Everything I assemble, all the constructions I have rendered are the metal and dust of my locked and storied bones. My bald cranium shines blind as the moon.
From Eating Bread and Honey, published by Milkweed Editions, 1997. Copyright © 1997 by Pattiann Rogers. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Born in 1940, Pattiann Rogers is the author of numerous collections of poetry.
Date Published: 1997-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/nearing-autobiography