There are animal bones by the side of my right foot
while I rock back and forth in the chair just outside
the backdoor. The paling one with sun weathered skin.
Their whiteness is surprising for having appeared
rather suddenly. One would expect for carnality
to survive longer than that, but there appears before
me evidence of disincarnation, as if sacraments could be
returned, the loosing of being. Tomorrow, I will have
to mow the grass. I wonder what I will do with the strewn,
iridescent pallor scattered amidst neon green like
a tombstone made of marrow. What could have felled
this creature? Was it chance or destiny? In the woods
of ourselves, do we follow footsteps or do we make
our own? The soft crush of leaves, mud flecked feet.
I am a man beset by death. I am constantly reminded
of the sound of silence with a cresting chest,
the whispering ghosts of people I have not yet lost
and those who will become the light of the west,
horizon a depth unknown to pumping blood.
Tomorrow, I will mow the grass and cut around the tufts
cushioning the remains looming by the side of my foot.
Tomorrow, I will sit in the rocking chair and ask for forgiveness.
I am afraid of tomorrow. I am afraid of today. Wandering
through the woods, winds caressing limbs without
any more depth than flaking bark. Once, I sat on a bench
and smoked an eighth of weed through a crystalline mouth.
Once, I sat on a bench and watched time begin to bleed
like a fresh wound, crimson aphids spilling from what
was once whole. Everything became one as if separation
was something we invented in order to cope with incarnation,
to cope with a body of clay slowly morphing into ash.
Today, I smoke as if there were no tomorrow. Tomorrow,
the bones will remain. Time becomes other than I am.
In this body of clay, someone, perhaps God, whispers
there is no after. Are we hallucinations of soul
or the soul of hallucination? Many moons from now,
my ribs will rise and fall in their penultimate opera.
Many moons from now, my eyes will seal, stitched
in place. There are animal bones by the side of my
right foot. I rock back and forth. I am haunted by my self.
I whisper the words of God and place my hand
on skeletal promises. I am in the woods. I am in my chair.
I wrap up absence as prayer. I am haunted by the bones
about my feet. I am haunted by the way they reflect
the light and clear a space for the words I fear the most-
there is no after. I am haunted by the bones.
In my bones, I know I haunt them, too.