Pectus Carinatum (Pigeon Chest)

by Michelle Price

To the woman who loves flesh
Bones are essential
Whether woven or lameller
Bones above all else
Hold the deepest of secrets
Revealing age and ancestry
Pathology and plight
Or whatever it is we as humans
Fail to disclose in our waking hours
With words and wrinkles

Protrusion, overgrowth, deformity
So many names for the way your sternum
Grew wild and brambly
Perhaps meaning only to protect
The droplets of blood
That ran through your weary heart
And your bones being wise
Must have anticipated the coming of loss
Thus building a fortress
For the emperor of all your organs

Strange how carnal desire serves us
As we begin to forgo the cruelty of shame
Allowing our very own anatomy
And all its defensive designs
To be embraced
Stranger yet that in all your body’s guarding
You permitted one slippery fish of a woman
To straddle the seat of your sorrow
To splay her truth across your boney chest
And rest there for a moment

Shocking as it was to witness this woman
Fully sanctified in her own succulence
You felt compelled to kiss her
To affirm her prowess with your gaze
To encourage all of her to rain on
And your dehydrated bones
Being on the verge of brittle
Must have thirsted for her
But she would only lead you to the water
Praying to herself that one day soon
You’d spit out all that bitterness
And find the courage to lap up
The single sweet drink before you

Journal, Volume 2 Issue 1