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Carmela Lanza

Bone Poem

 “ Our bones are dried and our hope is lost . . . “
Ezekiel 37:11

 “ . . . God set the prophet in a valley of very many and very dry bones . . .”
John Donne

for Mitzi

Two women driving in a car,
going to Las Cruces,
we hit a bird and tumbleweed as big as a deer,
it is the bag of dreams spray painted black,
nailed to the back wall of my soul,
and I want to stop the car,
to see what I am responsible for,
eat my guilt, sing my prayer, knees on the pavement
and stones in my shoes,
“It’s dead,” you say, “Keep driving.”

You continue lighting another cigarette,
one foot in front of the other,
you walk out the bedroom and get to the bathroom today,
tomorrow it may be the hallway by the kitchen,
the next day a phone call for the repairman
to patch the hole in the living room wall,
and next week it will be the back door
out to the yard and over the fence.

Smoke shoots out the car window and you
are as clear as the ocean in January,
you won’t take the word “dream” out of your poem,
you hold fierce to “love.”
These are words you have fought for,
“words I have fought for,” you say from inside your mouth, your myth,
the one you carry in your pocket, a warm egg you hold only for yourself;
and I wonder about your dreams and the floating furniture,
don’t bother holding on to the refrigerator,
it is slipping through our fingers,
We surround ourselves with transients who used to hold on to
shoulders, arms, faces like they were anchors
and now they live on paper plates,
waiting for a bus in the middle of a house.

You were wounded in those fights,
I can only see it in the shadows around your eyes,
in the morning light hitting the canyons,
blinding us in quick seconds as we wind around and around,
I hear it in your voice
between the humming of semi-trucks offering comfort
and minivans offering instant family,
when you look straight at me
and tell me another story.


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