Issue #6 March 2016
Detail from Rubble by Amy Casey

Jennifer Martelli

Owls and Bones

I’ve accumulated rooms of skulls and endoskeletons
of lego horses, soldiers, an embroidered skull with beads, very Mexican,
magnet bones of a silver gargoyle (on my range hood), the skeleton of an owl
in an unzipped owl suit. 

A poem is not a list of pretty things.  But look:

I have shot glasses of blown skulls.  OK.  I have Russian nesting dolls
in burkas and the innermost baby is bony in black lacquer.
I have a kewpie doll with a tiny fat penis and an owl bonnet.
My kids gift me owls and bones, but they do it in secret. A wisdom of owls

does not make me deep.  But look: I have cupcake tins in the shape of six skulls. 

Owl chopsticks made of bone plastic from the Oriental store in the Mall of the Dead.
I have a black pencil that has on its tip a tiny brass trilithon
from Stonehenge where I saw an owl fly over Salisbury Plain
one evening just before Jane Kenyon died. 

But look:  something in me takes things in its quiet talons, swoops,
leaves whole bones, once, the long vertebrae of a snake.