Blood feeds on red marrow to surge and rip
through bone and be the fuel our bark sails on,
bodies of water and their memories
come to land heavy laden with awareness
of pure being only in this skin.
Arrows writhe too and twist plucked
from their quiver to pierce flesh and bone
as though coming home.
The heart strains and comes to a stop
chasing its beat while those left behind
witness catastrophe transfixed
across time, generations, fathers and sons.
To say accident is not all is to be chased outdoors
to find bone in a gash of tree trunk
wasting on a lawn, bark scaling off
its tender beeswaxed skin you might think
pulled from you where you stand.
It is to seek blood’s coursing in red dyed
wooden wands bursting from a factory trash can,
pink seashells’ spiral whorls, the dream
blood ends in, left over from a garage sale
and a strap for hanging Saint Sebastian by
in a length of leather drooped over a box
outside a shoe repair shop.
A thousand arrows have spilled in wonder
above my head these past two years
yet looking up this morning I saw that I,
yellow marrow fattening for the plunge,
Michael Rowe is a sociologist in the Yale Department of Psychiatry. His books include The Book of Jesse: A Story of Youth, Illness, and Medicine and Classics of Community Psychiatry.
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