RACHEL MINDELL

SEDLEC OSSUARY


Kyrie: I was unafraid, foolish, I confessed
from the zygomatic crevice to a breeze unnoticed: through worship, my cartilage
bore up text in hot spews that spattered: in worship my patent powdered
shoes: sleep was a wind chime: I plucked the flies from an orchid growing out
the stairs: horses heart: I shattered pots and hands that held pots: I ate
tourist pork dumplings and wild cabbage: coat of arms: visitors reprimanded against
touching, flashing: fillet of fibula: you alone are the most high: spine,
disarticulated: a hairshirt does no inalterable damage: I climbed
a ladder to the altar, pressed my ear to each hollow: Baroque
embodiment: in worship, I spanned the stones: I teased the elbow joint
to extension: My sacrum of mutiny and a patella for frost: all at once, a coin
to the pile: I counted over fifty bones in my slender claw, warm like toast:
in worship, I stole the bonfire, burned a witch of long winter till her broomstick blistered: proximal, intermediate and distal: I rolled my neck in the circles of a timepiece: I signed
my family name with rib and instep: honey warding off evil at the dinner table: cuboid, talus, I tucked my tender: coat of coat hook: I was an untimely guest:
I recognized my own middle ear, knocking against the nave: I lit a flame
in the Epistle garden to feel that hidden chronology: flashed about like seed.

SEDLEC OSSUARY


And so I was slicked to that ancient ribcage: a chapel made
from more unpeopled bones than could girdle a football field:
in worship I beheld the taut chandelier, ivory garland and cropped
skulls, a femur spanning each gapped mouth: in worship I came
to revere that colorless future: I sat without tensing my toes:
I filled my mouth with accurate gags: I worked my stretch gloves
to exceed every finger: my jaw clicked: in worship I disinterred
a mass of fine feet and wrists leaving my own atlas and axis
to the basin: I priced my half skeleton at $2, 580: in worship I spoke
Czech beneath all 206 human pieces multiplied into the wall or
hung one from another: in worship I was high Gothic
vaulted: I planned my mausoleum like an architect, a tree house more
than likely given my long legs: in worship I no longer questioned
the lucky score of building materials: I hit a right arm followed by a left and a left
and a left again: nothing remained but duty: I jailed myself with plague: turned
my flesh skinside out like a jacket: I pressed my silence into the vesting room:
my eyes hung back in their pits as the ministry rose: that history may soften
my knees for long sleep

 

Rachel Mindell lives in Missoula, MT where she is coordinator for The Montana Book Festival. Her chapbook, A Teardrop and a Bullet, will be released this fall by Dancing Girl Press. Individual poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Pool, BOAAT, Horse Less Review, DESTROYER, Yemassee, Anti-, Cream City Review, inter|rupture, and elsewhere.

 

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