The reader closes the book and whispers, elfinbone.
Joyce in Finnegan leaping oceans and continents of language.
He wants to hold a thin bone in air, release it to hollow wind.
The way he wills it to float, to fly beyond understanding.
A large foot stamps on the savannah; fleas let go each other, jump onto that
shadow crossing the moon.
Skeleton and Elfenbein under the cold glow.
The way an eagle anchors itself on a dry tree to refuse sleep.
Vapor dreaming a liquid song of sky and pebbles shining equal joy.
While clouds, that expected surprise, change the horizon again, rain dimpling the world
the way elves were said to play.
Or the elephant’s tail, swiping back and forth, back and forth, like time, like
Elephantenbein bleaching in the sun.
Kalzium drifting freely for deposit anywhere a nose is;
anywhere death drops a tooth to tempt the toothless.
Like the desert tortoise lifting its belly off the hot sand.
The way it believes in someplace better.
Gary Metras‘ poems and reviews have appeared in Poetry, The Alembic, American Life in Poetry, Boston Review of Books, Connecticut Poetry Review, English Journal, Hurricane Review, The Pedestal, Poetry East, Poetry Salzburg Review, Small Press Review, Snake Nation Review, Tears in the Fence (UK), etc. His newest chapbooks are Two Bloods (Split Oak Press, 2010) and Francis d’Assisi 2008 (Finishing Line Press, 2008) with a poetry book, Captive in the Here, due from Cervena Barva Press in 2012.