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The Dark Beauty Behind Skulls and Bones

January 12, 2016

for JusJoJan – Prompt: skulls

There is a beauty so dark behind skulls and bones. It is the end result of a life and the beginning of a new creation. A creation born of imagination. I frequently use bones as a metaphor in my poetry, sometimes just bones in general, but other times skulls as well. This metaphor represents annihilation, stripped bare of all hope for life. And only those you truly love can reduce you to this state, wipe you clean off the surface of the Earth. That is the dark beauty of it. They cannot, however, remove the skull and bones. Those are the lasting testament of your existence.

Bone and Sinew

These years
with you
have leeched
and root —
you’ve sucked

I walk these halls
rattling, rattling
a mere guise
of my former self:
where the huntress
the gifted
the forager
of independence?

little by little
you ate away at me
stripping away
pith and marrow —
my backbone ceased
to hold me upright
to support my head
tilted to the sun

your ideals
became my ideals
by virtue of association —
to say I envisioned a different world
set off a series of tirades
no one questioned you!

I gave and gave and gave
’til I was bone and sinew

©2014 Lori Carlson


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  1. Cool poem.

    Not sure if you’re aware of Röyksopp, but since I’m here…

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