Naming the Bones


Don’t worry, the earth isn’t flat
and we won’t fall off
if we keep walking
No, she said,
the earth is blue
and the whole thing is a love song
Did you just make that up?
No, Paul Simon–
But I trust him.

Me too,
I said, then curled my bones
into hers even more
under so many blankets
and slept, sure I’d remember
these lines when I woke,
that the words wouldn’t
be swallowed whole by the earth
then sealed over,
never to return.

Sure enough, after our late-morning
nap, I did forget. The earth
still wasn’t flat
and the deep sleep with her
was a love song to sleep,
the sadness seeped away
for now into the sheets
and the soil
where dreams do the toiling
sometimes on our behalf —
they can be kind that way
and sometimes a torment, too.

But the words, those lines I was sure
were perfect? Gone.
She took her call and I ate
a cold taco in my pajamas,
thinking, not thinking.
Did some reading
and called it work.

Then they came back —
the earth is not flat —
and I sighed with relief
that now we could keep walking,
knowing our bodies will not fall
into nothingness
like a child’s existential fears
but rather grow full
and empty
and bloom and wither
like the blue, green, round body
that gave them here,
that somehow, without explanation,
made us walk just so
into each other’s arms.


Gratitude to Alisha Sommer and Robin E. Sandomirsky and the 7-day gift of liberated lines FLASH :: amplify. Today’s prompt was “naming your bones.”