A bone stretched to its full length, in its private
burial cave, or a bone oblivious of light,
of lust and of teeth? A bone over which
bitches have fought. It’s picked clean on a polished
floor. A bone turning over its dreaming
soil? A bone clicking under floorboards, knocking
on closet doors. A bone tied senseless
to other bones. When she pulls certain strings
it will raise him. And when they grow old
they will line up the bones, matching black dots,
like saturated eyes that give nothing away?
They will roll the bones, just when they
feel most secure. Later Venetian Carnivals will conceive
dominoes, and the winter habits of French priests
(white outside, black within) will bestow the moniker.
But Queen Jezebel would have never
pronounced the word dominus, except in jest.
And dice (singular, die) can come to rest
in six different attitudes, like a woman,
it means something played, something given.
Jezebel: Most maligned applier of eyeliner?
Most hated defier of fate, deifiers
of history have ever known. She was to me
a sulky husband’s spine, last seen
working her fingers to the bone. Delicate
anklebones, kohl-blackened eyes in a white face?
He keeps calling her—his little deuce—through the grow-
ing pains of all the comely adolescent bones.
Marcela Sulak is the author of two collections of poetry and has translated three collections of poetry from the Czech Republic and Congo-Zaire. She directs the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar-Ilan University, where she is senior lecturer in American Literature.
Revolver by Robyn Schiff.
Museum of Accidents by Rachel Zucker.
The Gathering by Anne Enright.
Homepage photograph via Flickr byAsja Boroš