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A STORY ABOUT BONES

Christina Olson

as it turns out, paleontology & poetry

         
            are not all that different

both the excavating of a shard

            here & there, an attempt to see what fits

the painstaking assembly of meaning from fragments                    

            maybe if you get lucky: a tooth, pointed—

the people in their practical clothes & boots

            sometimes even the same tiny brushes


& at the museum I kept calling the collections stacks


            but instead of poem let’s just say word cage


all morning I’ve been laboring at this—


            the way I regard something for hours, come back


& in the new light over the desk, something’s shifted


            suddenly I see the tusk, the femur


or the weapon, how it fits in my hand


            like it’s always been there           like I never put it down