Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “The Cost of Finger Bone Painting” by Sierra July, a Songs of Eretz Frequent Contributor and this week’s Poet of the Week. A biography of the poet may be found in our “About Our Editor & Frequent Contributors” section.
The Cost of Finger Bone Painting
shimmering glitter, collapsed top ‘nother,
on wrinkles of a black sand, morphing dislodged
phalanges into stars — Drawings that hum
constellations’ secrets snakeskin-thin seen
as hot ribbons by her truth tired eyes.
X marks the spot where she’ll beseech her successor
absorb naysayer drivel, spit it back
out, sport tradition humpback, speak finger
bones of Ladder monkeys popped from sockets
when they clamored too high; hoot triumphant
as they sprout replacement appendages.
Two bones steer together, longing to meet,
triangle born between. She frowns, casts bones
twice more, same result, twice and thrice, spelling
out in obsolete tongue: art’s death, monkey,
clan extinct due to unborn successor’s
deceptive grace with contrived chicken bones.
Poet’s Notes: This was to convey the beauty and mystery of old customs, and, unfortunately, how quickly they can end.