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The Body

Famke Halma

Houses 206 bones that

are built for defense

against aerial warfare.


Unmatched in sturdiness.

Wrapped in delicate tissue.

Begging you to come inside

your neighbor’s unfinished basement.

The water knows no bounds, and the blasts

break the ceiling as if to say

“bones are just bones.”

My grandmother carried me in

her stomach when she carried you, and

when she carried you,

she carried what would be left.

Are you proud

that these are the bones you leave behind?

Are you embarrassed?

Do you wish they were someone else’s?

Bones are just bones as

bones are just in chicken broth as

bones are just the remnants of a fallen nation as

bones are just in the bark of cut-down trees

as I am just in you.

Long after I am gone,

and my weathered bones have forgotten where they lie,

I will learn to crawl home

into the arms of my father.

I will lie in that hollow womb of my mother

without remembering a single thing about her.

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