Fifth Night: Fleshing Bones

White Spectral Dog GAP 12.14.18

This is what I do when the winter spirit curls itself around
Snow soaked boots, seeps under wet socks
Settles into toes and climbs to give
A frigid embrace, chilling me to the bone

I hop aboard a boat hewn of frosty crystals with branches of pine and birch for oars.
I row through a sea of fluffy snow, steer toward the glow cast from my first mate’s eyes.

We enter a world of leftover bleached skulls
Red scraps hanging from ribs
Forming a tower piled mountain high
Where ten black vultures bend their bald heads
Render flesh with hooked beaks
Before the yellow sun returns.

I bank the boat, leaving it to my first mate, and enter the tower,
Wind my way up stairs of dinosaur teeth, antlers, squirrel feet, turkey tails, and the roots of trees long forgotten
Following the beams of a waxing moon
Spilling in between ribs.

A cow moos, drips milk into the sky
Quickly the drops freezes dry and sparkle
Illuminating the bull’s horns into which a blind man blows,
A mighty bellows that shatters the silence of the night,
A war cry freezing my blood as he leaps over the moon in a giant stride and lets loose seven arrows at once from a crown of thorns.
They streak in seven directions and disappear from sight.

This is a time for wondering: did the honeybees, drunk on orange blossom nectar, swap spit into soft wax that now emits a glow of that very color, that orange blossom melting?

I creep up the slippery slope, climb over coils of braided hair, to meet the mountain in an embrace from atop snow capped turrets standing in the cold.

I call out boldly,

Flay me now with chisels of ice and shards of frosty crystal held in blue hands bare, hew from me the detritus of a year and strew it on this bone covered mound, as matter frozen for the yellow sun to scatter when it rises, blinks its eyes, to wash toward the sea.
Oh come, seize me now, for drunk am I on goblets of dew brewed from sticky yellow petals, orange hues, bubbling, quickening between heat and cold, render me until my nose has dripped and spilled shadows for the yellow sun to melt into the water shed all that is for washing.

Here atop this mountain high, where ten black vultures circle, I flap my mantle of turkey feathers and gobble up the winter spirit.
It twists freezing cold, sanitizing, loosening all knots and cords and I writhe then cough them out.
The vultures know what is for the sun; they circle and content themselves with dinosaur bones, feed on what is past, stripping it bald and bare until the tower is laid low.

The blind man blows into the bull’s horns
Announcing departure and arrival
An eagle soars above, wings reflecting golden light,
The sustaining sun rises.

I leap to my feet, a giant stride into the sky,
A cow moos, into my outstretched hands
Streams of warm sunlight flows
Sparking as I rub them together
Setting the mountain aflame.

A honeybee buzzes softly as I ride
On my first mates back,
Soaring as one over the orange field,
We fly to our boat hewn of crystals blooming.

I row across a sea of slushy birch and pine tea
Leaving vessel and oars to my first mate.
I scatter nuts and seeds near my frozen boots,
As I gather my sodden socks
Squirrels and birds arrive to feast
And the winter spirit brushes away
The seven thorns embedded in my skirts.

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