Bone Music – A Poem by Robert Okaji

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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

18 thoughts

  1. I greatly enjoyed this one. This part especially resonates,
    “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,”

  2. Excellent title that drew me in. I love how this poem sort of elides the real-world event such that it becomes a part of the fabric of the poem (if that makes sense). What’s important, in “fleshing out” those unfortunate universals we call loss and regret, is sort of two-pronged (in my mind) depending on whether you’re the poet or the reader. As a reader, through your masterful direction, I can undergo the catharsis with you/the narrator, and it’s your gift (one of several) to your reader. I am ever-thankful for poetry … this is all my 2 cents’ anyway! Astonishing work, as ever, Bob. Carry on.

Any thoughts?