BY COURTNEY QUINLAN POETIC JUSTICE

Some Bones Aren’t Meant To Be Buried: Unearth Yourself

unearth self jr-korpa-765682-unsplash

BY COURTNEY QUINLAN

Underneath this colored flesh is a graveyard
Moss covered headstones where pieces of me lie
Where my vertebrae lay strewn
A place where my fingertips grab my spine and shake it like a rattlesnake
Like an old dusty rug
Bruised and battered like kettle drums
It sounds like a whip
As it cracks, I hear the escape
The long forgotten echoes
The layers of calcium deposits and bones spurs
The nerves that held tightly wound memories
Like a jaw wired shut.
I swing it above my head
Lay it out to dry like laundry on the line.
Exposed linen ligaments.

Some bones were never meant to be buried

A small space where sternum meets clavicle
Where the weary rest their heads
And stories mix with marrow

Hips of stone and belly full of tumbleweeds
I come calling for her
The one I left here
The one who ran away
The unloved and the unwilling
I know them all by name

By sound
By touch
By sight

I smell of earth and decay
Of fresh fallen snow and new life
Shoulders cut from quarries
To carry the burden
The guilt
The weight
The waiting
Sifting and sorting fragments of self
Like panning for fool’s gold
Bones of sunken treasure

Bones from Ethiopia and South Africa
Traces from mitochondrial Eve
I, too, am pieces of these
Ground from mortar and pestle
Of arid spice and sea salt

Bones unearthed like shards of clay from a riverbank
I pull my body back
I repurpose it
Fill the spaces with photographs and pages torn from books
With the feeling of my hair being tossed in the wind.
And the sound of him sleeping
With birth
And death
And the endless beautiful sorrow
Like falling songbirds

I am nesting in the branches of my being
Deciduous bones
Dormant
bending me like the bow
Each new breath
(each rib)
a clean and sharpened arrow

Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life: BS-Free Wisdom to Ignite Your Inner Badass and Live the Life You Deserve.

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. . .

#UNEARTHYOURSELF

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Courtney Quinlan

Courtney Quinlan is a lover of words and how you can craft them together, piece by piece and build a story, or a moment in time that speaks to someone. She lives in Vermont, as a single parent, with her son who is on the autism spectrum and advocates fiercely for him and others with disabilities. She volunteers as a parent advocate and editor for The Urban Howl and Wild Heart Writers and is a contributing author of poetry and prose. She can generally be found lost in a whirlwind of creative thought, she is unfiltered and fairly transparent. She is passionate about empowering women and social justice issues. She likes to get crafty, making beaded jewelry and crafts and photography inspired by the natural world around her. She is a sarcastic lover of humor and is blessed to be able to laugh at herself and find the irony in stressful situations. Rarely embarrassed and often clumsy she is practicing the art of vulnerability and can be found just throwing her whole self out there!

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