Circle the Bones
The new dog ran back, deer skull
intact in her teeth, & my dad
held it to the sun. The eye hollows were
thirstier than a sexless year—
maybe even thirstier than me
after sundown. Did the dog know
what she had found?
We brought the skull inside, down to
the basement, & set it down—gently but maybe not
carefully—on the table, that table we once played ping-
pong on. I looked it over, examining the weathered
calcium curves, the rooms that were once filled
with wordless light & fever, reaction after reaction.
The phone rang; I don’t live there anymore, not
really, & I am an awful child, let my dad
leave the basement to answer it. Alone,
I circled the bones, wondering how a head divorces
its body, how a spine gets severed by seasons, which
seemed selfish, even then. Because of the head
still on my shoulders, because I’m still not sure if it’s OK
to be heartbroken over the world.