Hymn for blood lake and bone pile
The Descent (2005, Dir. Neil Marshall)
When I sleep, it’s beneath
an open window. A push of winter
wind nudges through blankets,
& this bedroom is not so small
as it used to be. On television,
a helicopter glides over the mouth
of a pit, bored by some giant to learn fear
of the dark from his place in the sky,
& I am the opposite of bone.
I don’t have enough blood. This room,
a dugout carved in dirt by the fingerful,
fortified with warm, wet wood for screaming
and the smell of rot and stillness. Where is the door.
Where is the door. Where is the door.
A dead woman wears my sparkliest flats.
I know this because I eulogized her,
filled her mouth with yellow jackets
and watched the way they bit her tongue
into a coin purse. Piece by piece, I sloughed
the fat of her thighs until her femurs clunked like wind
chimes, painted her face the color of sun,
of blackberries. When the dead woman walks,
she taps her fingers against collarbones outstretched
like bat wings, a stalactite’s slow drip.
Reader, I’ve catalogued my skeleton for you.
I have no use of it now. Blind hyenas
have echolocated to find me in the belly of a cave,
and there’s too much flesh of me to wriggle free.
If you find this, take my spine, take my tibia,
all my calcified and singing parts that you may sharpen them
to spears. Don’t be sorry. Don’t fall for the trick
of the daylight; we’re still two miles underground.
You have such a long way to go.
Jacqueline Boucher lives and writes in Kansas. Her work has appeared in Occulum, The Rising Phoenix Review, BOOTH, SmokeLong Quarterly, Hobart, and other magazines. Her life’s ambitions are to write a book-length love letter to Hannibal Lecter and to convince her cats to pay rent. She can be found on Twitter @jacqueboucher.