Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Forty
Spring 2016
Skeleton Tale
Kryssa Schemmerling

I dip my hand into the box
and remember
my father’s story: a ghost
town he found once
emptied out. No gold

dust left there. No bone-
white christening gown
hand-stitched, hauled
West by covered wagon,
stored for a century
in paper that crumbled
to touch. My fingers

sift now through grit, digging for gold
teeth. Only nuggets
of bone, pieces that resisted
fire, refused to break
down. Shattered

glass littered cabin
floors. Abandoned
mines tapped out. My
hands are ghosted
white with him. I sow my father
into his garden. Shallow

grave. One pine box exhumed
by flash flood or quake. When he pried
the lid off a shock of copper
hair, re-kindled for an instant
on desert wind, blazed
out as it blew away. Man

proteaned to pure
matter. Mineral, metal,
salt. I weave
my father back
into earth.

About Kryssa Schemmerling

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