Issue 12

Summer 2014


The Smallest Bones

1.  Anvil

Under glass in the museum
you are small and white, a baby

tooth no fairy collects, and far
from the ear out of which you were

extracted. Incus, your Latin
name – the hard k hones

you, keeps your roots pointed
down, sharp as a fingernail 
in a dark glove, in a dark
canal, vibrating.

2.  Stirrup

The horses have gone off
without you, unsaddled, unbridled,

hooves like hollow mugs of wood. 
If one could shrink and stand

beneath your tiny roman arch,
one might hear them, how they

echo across the cobbles, past
the high walls, as if the palace

were destination. The drum
distant and somewhere else.

And you, with your history,
your languages unrecoverable.

3.  Hammer

You make audible the whisper,
the hush, whatever false phrases

linger behind fingers that eclipse
the mouth. What hesitates

to enter the coiled corridors
of the cochlea, arrives.

With your furious fang you stare
down romantics who metamorphose

knives into flutes, boulders into songs.
What isn’t heard clearly the first time 

you repeat, you repeat, you repeat
until what has come through one ear

is nailed, cannot come out the other.


Marilyn Annucci