There’s Something about Bones

Doug Paul Case

the neighbor boy used to tell me      something
about their tendency to decompose       to crumble
into the earth
                              that made him want
to stumble his fingers over flesh       searching

for what would break       what his descendants
would one day walk upon until they arrived
in each others’ arms
                                                   how they would touch
what would one day be walked upon

he’d never cut into me       never touch
beneath the skin       no matter how I begged
      never whisper this anywhere
but in the rotting house     in the stump field
where soon there’d be no trace

                                                                      no dust
beneath even the roots       where the wood
would one day grow       for their rotting
houses       never whisper this anywhere
            but oh             how he stumbled

DOUG PAUL CASE works as a salon receptionist in Bloomington, where he recently earned his MFA from Indiana University. His poems have appeared in Salt Hill, Barrow Street, Redivider, and Hobart.