Bone (A Soul)


One day I went down to the beach
and lay on the cool sand, my ears heard it singing.
Or maybe it was the surf, or the beetles in the grass.
I closed my eyes and felt the vibration of its tenor
stirring me to love, love, love, trust, or just
awakening me to acknowledge it.


My bones sunk into the sand
and rested against its language,
their thousand pages of words telling me
I am like them, and of belonging, and of god.
I never prayed but lifted a mussel shell to the sun.
I felt its hard edge against my hand as sand grains
blew over me. It was curved like my ear and
I think it heard me with its multitudinous blues
and pearlescent insides not unlike my own.
I think it may have heard the ocean
calling it home, because I heard it.


And I think we became sisters
in that moment and got to know each other
as kindred souls although I didn’t touch a soul
only a shell, an exoskeleton of a once alive thing
surrounded by other things once as alive as myself
and gulls or crabs stirring its rest crackling it
into the other broken things that were
once alive.


I heard the wind unsettling these things,
I heard it again in the dunes.
It cupped my ears as it blew and
in this way I knew:
The soul is a sum of many things;
that what I heard was simply
the sound of those many things.
That what I heard was
simply a soul.


Author's Note
Inspired by the poems of Mary Oliver,
Especially ‘Bone’, ‘White Flowers’, and ‘Breakage’
Written for the ‘Bone’ comp
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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