An articulated skeleton is one with the various parts connected in such a way as to demonstrate normal relationships and allow motion between components as in the living body.

Years bleach memories clean.
Stains removed.
Colors fade.
Threads unravel with each alteration.

It’s funny how
the maceration process works.
Surely we would have noticed if our recollections had
been boiled in ammonia.
The last of the dried facts fed
to dermestid larvae.
And only the lies we tell ourselves
remain to become our new reality:
degreased and whitened.

But ours are different truths.
And that is the catch.
So perhaps it is best
we do not talk anymore.
Let us not disturb the past.
Let us keep our stories secret
and sacred.
Let this solution preserve us.

I tell myself these myths in time
will clothe us,
will become our flesh.
Durable weaves
to cover this
artificial articulation,
this brittle skeleton.

But our silence creates
a herringbone pattern
of unspoken words
breaking at reversal.
A broken zigzag of
wool woven in the shape
of dead fish’s bones.

Victoria Nordlund teaches creative writing at Rockville High School in Vernon, CT. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut. Her work is currently published in the Fall/Winter issue of PANK Magazine. She is the 2016 NEATE New England Poet of the Year and took first place in the CWP’s poetry contest. Her work will also be published in Amaryllis and Strange Poetry. Victoria is part of a wonderful writing group, The Wordsong Poets.

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