Mudlark No. 62 (2017)

The Invisible

It’s better that I go unseen.
No doubt I would present a certain liability.
Interfere with appetites,
ruin a wedding or christening
because even if I put on a dress, a wig,
painted my skull an inch thick, two,
people would look at me & think 
That’s where I’m headed

& some might refuse to go on,
just put down the spoon or vow,
turn to the west window, 
wait like the day to be undone.

Or imagine if I were asked to dance,
a samba, rumba, pas de deux,
the band struck up & my bones 
began to rattle like so many cups & plates.
The clatter to get out of there!

Even if there weren’t guests, just you,
with the morning news, coffee, how long
would you hold on to that wild, inexplicable,  
just-descended-upon-you love of this world 
if you looked up & saw my
ulna, clavicle or skull? 

No, the truth is 
those who want to die 
are already bone, the life sap 
has run from them, they are old trees 
that wait through winter into spring
then stay grey & clenched 
while everything else 
fringes green.

Bones, leafiness. A lovely contrast.
But not of this world.

I’ll keep out of view, then. But I won’t leave you.
Even now, touching this page, you can feel me, bone 
of your bone, smaller hand within your hand.

Lynne Knight | Coda
Contents | Mudlark No. 62 (2017)