The Bone Machine


A reposting of a piece I wrote for All Souls Day 2010.

Bethlehem, PA - Photo by Walker Evans - Nov 1935 from the Library of Congress FSA collection

The low scudding clouds that lingered all week, have been peeled away revealing a heartbreakingly blue sky. The kind of sky you just want to pop into your mouth and suck on, until all the sunlight slanting through the atmosphere warms the dark corners your soul, and spills out your mouth like a sigh.

My whole life I have felt like an archaeologist sifting through the ruins of a lost time, picking among the bones of the dead. I was born nostalgic for times and places that I never saw, but knew, as if I’d lived lifetimes of solitude among the ruins watching each stone crumble.

Melancholy pulses like blood within me.

Each face I have seen, each person I have known, is inside me. Photographed, classified and filed away in the long file cabinets of my memory. I know they remain there, breathing between manila folds.

I want to hold all of life within me. I want to be a vessel that can never be filled, and when poured, can never be emptied.

I stand here among the graves, eyes closed, as the wind brushes the hair from my forehead,

breathing.

The bones of the dead move beneath us, clicking like the gears of a vast machine,

slowly measuring the movement of time.

3 thoughts on “The Bone Machine

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