I have punctured my finger nails / to fill one thimble / with blood
- Phyllis Webb
The elk lies in its body of ribs, fallen
together as hands in prayer. I see
xylophone bones and meat's white growth
of fly. The skull has no one to look at me, but
a pink toe looks a blood eye left to find my own.
Half an ungulate jaw, the other not found
in second-growth bush, or century of sweat
down my black hair shirt. Could she,
if she she be, have mewed her own
small ending? A jaw of long white fids
unspliced her arteries: adventitia, media,
intima, to snuff the life of eyes.
I consider teeth-shortened bones,
not lungs around which they
breathed and returned. Hamstrings
on my calves, I finger hide too
worthless to be eaten. Where are mouths
that ripped warm life to feed their own?
I might stagger among alder haze pursued
by green fly. But I know no fear. No wolf,
no cougar. I am short-sighted bear
and shamble wilderness as though I own it,
the chocolate lily on the grading that bore
a railroad a 100 years ago, taking
skeletons of cedar to men. All the men
with sweat from their mouths. Plank holes
chopped in trunks, and double-ended
blades with teeth many inches deep.
Now, the bones of elk starve perfectly
fed on by mosses taking them to calcium.
The white hair, the white bone, the white owl
Ah, the maple tree, grown from shore,
topples a century into river. So many
questions. Such indifferent curiosity.
No one eats a carnivore.
'The blood eye left to find my own.'
Several images of: 'The maple tree, grown from shore / topples a century into river.'