the museum of americana

a literary review

Vertebrae — Poetry by Jeremy Michael Reed

 
on the massacre of Comanche horses after the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon

Stacked. Bones white, cracked.
Cleaned by sunlight. Left gleaming.
Intricate network of veined roots above ground.

Time’s already rotted away bullet holes, left
nothing but dead grass underneath the pile.

The place maintains place, thingness, even now,
two hundred years after two thousand carcasses.

There’s no need for bones with wind like this.
Nothing but repeated day, day, repeated like

images pressed to prison sheets, newspaper
murals stuck with hair gel, spoon, toothpaste, but,

                                               what are the walls

here,                            in this place,                   in the open,                   where the bones don’t even

                                               belong,
                               exist,
                                                                 tamp the grass
                                                                                              into earth,
                                                                                anymore?
 
~ ~ ~
Jeremy ReedJeremy Michael Reed is a PhD student in English-Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee. His poems are published or forthcoming in Red Paint Hill, Still: the Journal, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and elsewhere. More of his work can be found online here.

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