Parts of the skeleton

I tried to draw your ribs, but the words on the screen distracted me. I miss your bones–the weight and the diameter; I wished I missed the fleshy bits in your skull. I wish I missed something more tied to you. Something more substantial. More of you.

“Think for yourself. You have to be willing to cut against the grain and get the distance from your peer groups; and not only that, but you have to have a habitual vision of greatness”

Who am I to call out your flaws? Who am I to hold you accountable? How do I know you don’t already know what’s wrong with you? Why do I have to chip away? I chip at you to collect the bits. I want to remember the failings of humanity. I think that is our natural state. Despite whatever you achieve…I’m not sure those things really matter beyond our current state of understanding. I’m more interested in the failings you hide away. I will pull them out and let the sunlight catch the dust. No one thinks they’re perfect, Morales.

“Everything you ever did was strictly by design, but you got it wrong”

Pencil in hand, I go to trace your ribs. What is your favorite muscle? That which you most enjoy tearing and rebuilding? We have 233 bones and 460 to 501 muscles (many can be considered either as units or aggregates); they overlap each other and are arranged in layers or in planes. I’m not mocking you. I thought we existed in a different space…I always carry you away to those distant spaces before you’re ready.

“We can bury our ways in these songs we have sung, and we can bury our limbs underneath all these hands”

Maybe I should have clarified I was raised in wild nature. Maybe I should have made the distinction between your nature and my nature. You say outside; I mean wild. I mean that nature man has not tamed. I mean that nature man still fears at night when the moon is not enough to light your way. Where the unexplained is a common occurrence and you trust that feeling in your gut because you know it sees what your eyes cannot.

I am not ashamed to be afraid of nature.

I had a dream that you cut open the skin across my stomach. You cut it open and you stretched it up. You held it there with forceps. You pulled the top up and the bottom down and you displayed my guts. I couldn’t see what you were doing. It didn’t really hurt. You told me it would hurt for 15 minutes, and I imagined inexplicable breath-catching pain and I told you not to do any more. You were displeased; you corrected yourself. No more pain than what you’re feeling now. Oh, then carry on. You poked in and got your sample and I felt the tool in my gut, but I didn’t mind it. I guess you got what you needed because you stitched me up and I went on with my day. A little weak, but nothing unmanageable. I did it for you. The sample was for you.

I’ve never had a dream like that, where I was so physically invaded.

I wonder when you read what I write if I can be seen. I write to be seen, I think, in a sense. I wonder if the words I write show me; display me; open my guts to you. Or I wonder if I am doing it wrong. I’m creating more distance than closeness. Not providing any sense of connection or any place of vulnerability, but another space of ambiguous deception. When you read my work do you get a sense of who I am? My fear of the pain prevents the words I should be putting on the page. Keeps your microscope at bay.

I don’t want to deceive you. I am not here to deceive you.

Have you ever noticed that we are a cross? The clavicles and the vertebrae.

You feel dense to me. When I draw, I try to capture the density I felt in your bones.




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