Nobody Loves Your Bones


Nobody wants your bones, not really.

Bones are only for poor people and dogs and scientists.

But think about it.

We all die, and one day you're going to die,

and your body will lie down on the earth,

or be left to slump in a musty chair,

or moulder on some mattress in an apartment while your lightbulbs burn out,

or maybe hide in a coffin after some expensive funeral,

and other things are going to eat you.

There will be birds and rats and bugs and nematodes and bacteria,

and they'll work at you, pick you until you're clean,

strip down your meat until you're just the bones,

and then they will leave you, too,

because nobody wants your bones, not even the scavengers.

An anthropologist might look at your bones someday,

but he'll only want them for the story they might tell,

not because they were your bones, not because they'll be anything.

He's not interested in the bones for being what they are.

He just sees signs pointing to something else.

The only person who wants your bones for being bones is you.

Those hard pieces of you stuck in the dark,

those hidden underpinnings,

those are yours and yours alone,

and you are the only one who will ever need them.

Hold your bones softly. Love them.

The entire substructure of you that no one ever wants to see

hiding in the black beneath all your meat,

least of all you,

will all just be leavings soon,

housed in a box,

or laid outside where the world can see you

if you're very lucky.

You have your whatever you are all wrapped up inside your chest

that can float on away from you when you're dead,

but your bones just have themselves,

and there's no they in them.

They have to borrow from you or have none at all,

holding you up in the dark while no one loves them,

maybe not even you.