The Bones of Your Back


Your skin is stretched over your back,

thin as air mail paper,

lined with bones where, I imagine, 

disease ate away all flesh.

You turn with your family

to exit the playground,

I see this frgile outline of your skeleton-

the bumps of your vertebre intersect

your shoulder bones and blades.

I want to write on those thin lines

how beautiful you are,

how well loved you look as little one

takes your hand. 

Elegant caligraphy painted with a brush

not much thicker than your wrist. 

We never met.

Silently we slip our separate ways.

I imagine how inappropriate

a  stranger’s comment

on the purity of your complexion,

how your pale, hairless head

and lack of eyebrows make you seem ethereal

would be.

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