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iii. bone-breath {po}

by Richard Paez

(enough)

i've had enough
now is my time
to cut down
(to the bone)
and strip away
useless flesh

i am bone-soul now
let me rattle
while you tremble
(so uselessly)

i'm going
three ways now-
and the one you find
is the one you'll find
forget
the other two
they're useless
(to you) now


i'll take
my bone-self
bone-walking
(and)
bone-finding

histories you've only
(so recently) forgotten

and i'll build
a fire
and i'll pray
and i'll chant

and i'll take
my bone-self
bone-wishing
(and)
bone-wandering

across histories
you've (only recently) forgotten

laugh, laugh
it's all you can do now
now that you are
dead and wandering
i'll be here
waiting for your return


all bone-whittling
and
bone-whistling
laughing
now that you are gone

oh, hear me, hear me
beat, beat against
stretched skin
drums that pound
memories into your skull
till all is nightshade
all is nightshade

and we'll dance
bone-dance
(to)
bone-songs
and dig deeper
because it's all that's left now

one big pile
a flame-less bonfire
every twig a bone
and every ash
a memory-lullaby
whispering goodbye
whispering goodbye

when you return
i'll be
bone-here
(and)
bone-in
(and)
cutting deeper
dancing alone
in the hope
that the children
we never had
will (always) remember
the old ways
we never
had the chance
to know

dancing,
dancing
bones scattered
because
the meal is over

and all we want now
is to sleep
(bone-sleep)
and dream
(bone-dreams)

and never
~ ever ~
wake up again

take
one last
bone-breath
(and)
recede
don't worry
we'll never
be (forgotten)
again

12/09/2002

Author's Note:
When I die, please spread my ashes in the ocean. I want to go back home.

This is the after-birth to (two-thirds {dream-child}). I'm not pointing that out to make one seem less than the other or redundant, only because I feel that it's important to show their chronology.

Thank you Bruce for pointing out the typo! :)

Posted on 12/09/2002
Copyright © 2020 Richard Paez

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by David R Spellman on 12/10/02 at 06:16 PM

This poem is as deep as the oceans and as powerful as her waves, immersing me in bone-chilling beauty...

Posted by Betania Tesch on 12/11/02 at 06:58 PM

but the bones are the frame, are the underneath...the essential. don't forget the marrow, which harbors the potent secrets of blood...you won't stop making blood. *softness and love* how breathtaking.

Posted by Mara Meade on 12/11/02 at 10:13 PM

oh the imagery and, to me, mystery... I think I could read this a thousand times and feel something different every time.

Posted by Christina Bruno on 12/14/02 at 07:48 PM

your poetry is so much more than words

Posted by Bruce W Niedt on 02/11/03 at 03:51 AM

Resonant, chilling, chant-like, haunting, transcendant, vivid, etc. etc.... wow! One possible typo noted: 3rd-from-last stanza, last line - you meant "bone-dreams" I presume.... d:-)

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 07/05/03 at 01:55 PM

Unique application of a single word. Amazing poetry!

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