This skull had a tongue in it, and
could sing once.
The strangeness of it.
Bony carapace of all we are
yet never seen short of death
when plucked from some foul
smelling trench where once
prayers, other upward words,
had passed into wind and distance
to be forgotten sooner
Think 28 bones of intricate suture
joined jig-saw like as though for
a long war or slow decline through
years unfriendly, unforeseen, not
to be trusted.
Think cerebral hemispheres,
gray matter, white matter, pons
medulla, and the crucial lobes.
Think furtive swish of liquid
as you bend and dive, race madly
through whatever days allowed.
Great melon ripe with who you are,
repository of song and word, your
past and present, frail gropings
toward some future imagined
Is it then the central irony of
all human passage that the
boned vault in which the treasure
lies knows nothing of you