ex. ossibus, a poem

starburst reliquary gittern

 

Ex. Ossibus

 

(originally published in the Absinthe Literary Review)

 

Centuries after I die,

my skeleton will be dug up and

displayed in a museum,

the most beautiful bones

in the world — how their perfect

forms will inspire the sensitive,

the artistic, the overwrought —

though while I lived

you couldn’t tell from outside

how much beauty lay within.

My bones will be stored

in reliquaries made of silver, gold

and rock crystal, starburst shaped,

laid carefully inside glass cases

on gray velvet.  I will be placed

next to a 16th-century illuminated

treatise on falconry,

down the hall from a pearwood gittern,

once stroked by Elizabeth the First.

Only the devout, the reverent,

will be allowed to dust me.

Young girls and boys

will be driven mad by my perfection.

 

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