Emilie Friedman


I feel like I’m rattling around inside your ribcage
After the whale has washed up
on a private island,
and died.
And that rocking, that’s me.
Isolation, fear, could all be quelled
I guess
by slipping through your rib bones
bare bone
and walking outside,
on this sunny hot day
sunny and hot, burning sand
feels lovely on one’s feet, I am told.
But being pushed from side to side
slows that instinct.
I’ve been here for years
Holding white bone in my hand,
because it’s so smooth
Tightrope walking down your spine
to show you my amazing balancing act.
And I know that my footing
might be the thing
that’s rattling me.
Because I don’t see you applaud anymore
When I show you my tricks,
When I cry out for help
To hold me still
You watch me rattle,
Bare feet holding ground on burning sand.
You have stopped trying to whittle bone
to free me
from this carcass.

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