A Sympathy for Bones and Meat
my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
                                                  Psalms 32:3, King James

Come, then, buy your ticket to the rite:
rattle my knuckles in the tin cup, carve
new lines in my palm to read. Rub
my skin with rough stones to smooth
away messages you dont like. Spill
the tendrils of gut, looped and red wet
I will give my body for your answers.
Lift out the lungs like wings, then step
on my spine: put one foot sure on me,
the other on the life you have now

only when certain Ill hold your weight. Take
the blade of my pelvis, polish it like a mirror
and ask your reflection: Do I want oracle or flesh?
I will chant all possible prophecies spewing
them out like ticker tape while you occupy
my bones. I will perform this rite again and again
for you until you see every outcome in my flesh.
Until you are sure you want my body and my life
until you tell me to stop.


Nudibranch: Indonesia, copyright 2005 Mary Pearson

Copyright 2012,  Judy French

Judy French is a writer and teacher living in Northern California. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in The Colorado Review, Vestal Review, and Opium.

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