EDITOR’S CHOICE: Bone Music – A Poem by Robert Okaji


*EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARD: Bringing my favorite previously-published poems back to the front page*

Submitted by Robert Okaji

But how to reconcile the difference? Consider
drag force, velocity at impact, position,
surface tension. Gravity. I drink more wine
and drift, trying to recall that last conversation,
those few sentences revised in the moment,
exhaled and consumed in passing. It’s
likely that fractured ribs lacerated the heart and
lungs, or severed major arteries. Sometimes
words evaporate, leaving behind only the faintest
residue. Or they might absorb the ocean’s power,
the beauty, the blackness of the deepest
nocturnal canyon or the weight of a dying
high mass star’s core, crushing any deliberation,
any attribution, with remorse. Sky above,
the earth below, silvered leaves. A shared moon.
This fluttering from great heights. The outward
thrust. The shearing. A fluttering within. Each
morning I acknowledge pain and fear, refleshing
the night’s bones phrase by delicate phrase into
numinous forms greater than their divisible
parts, their intractable sums, into bodies and
shapes extracted through a moment’s glimpse,
brief afterthoughts groaned across the opening
blue, saying I was right, I admit inaction, I
confess it all, water, water, I knew too little.

Previously published in Gossamer: An Anthology of Contemporary World Poetry
(Kindle Magazine, Kolkata), December 2015.

About the Poet

Robert Okaji lives in Texas. The author of five chapbooks, he’s also penned three micro-chapbooks published by Origami Poems Project, as well as Interval’s Night (Platypus Press, 2016), a mini-digital chapbook. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crannóg, Blue Fifth Review, Vox Populi, Right Hand Pointing and elsewhere. Visit his blog, O at the Edges, at http://robertokaji.com/.


Photo Credit: The Lake and Town of Brienz – JMW Turner

For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.

16 thoughts

      1. Still working my way through your chapbook. Letting the poems take their time. They remind me of the rock-polisher I had as a kid. A tumbler where I could put raw stone, then turn it on and leave it for months, the rocks turning and clicking in the corner of the basement. What was always so amazing was that after way, way longer than I had imagined, the stones would all come out glistening and beautiful. They had no coating, no polish, they were smooth from their own working, their own surface. Your poems feel like that to me. The words working and clicking against each other over and over until they come into their own.

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