I keep a box of bones under my bed:
femurs poking out among the scree
of vertebrae I know verbatim, cracked
clavicle leaving room for perjuries
of family history no one dares
recount. Indolent daughter of a whore–
what was I to do? I hawked my wares,
but they weren’t worth the shadow on the door.
A mandible wags loosely in my lap,
hinged to words we never took time to say;
our dumb fears linger wingless in the gaps.
I could shake these bones until break of day.
Instead I drag the box out to the shed.
No sense in lying lipless with the dead.