in the bone orchard, we
mine for apple cores: a cracked
golden molar for me; a hip with meat
still hanging on by a pink thread; wishbones.
it’s not all bad digging through the fields
of our lovers, parents, friends, hated coworkers
who have died mining before us: hot ozone
death, viral vectors, insanity; we pick their bones clean.
you see bones take too long to rot; bones
are the new gold standard because everyone
has bones, even the sickly who cannot
mine & the born unlucky: the poor. the other day
i found a child’s thumb tangoing with flies
& traded it in for a shot of penicillin
at the market. children are so rare these days
that their bones are even rarer, like a hot shower
or a seedling in the wild, tender with a death
wish by foot or acid storm. when we soured
the earth with the desire to eat like kings
what was left but our bones? to be
hunted down like animals? no, this is a more
humane way, more equal under god: we weigh
each bag of bones carefully
by the pound.
Lucy Zhou is a technical writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She loves long-haired cats, labyrinths, and endlessly revising her pieces.
image: Peter Gutierrez