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Beauty and the Bone Dancer

By: John Thomas Allen

       Onomatopoeia’s clinical thread: 

       the pulse and click of doctor’s 

        shoes, oath often a mere wishbone:

        And how can this be, but it is,

        as a snake eats itself, ouroboros

        Holes are blown in the sky’s blue pail,

        each living day. You slept through

       the therapy aides swan dance, 

        their laying on of hands, searches. 

        Hunger games, food flying 

       like shrapnel, bone flute hands

       whistling the march down split halls 

       of swinging compact mirrors, lips 

      and eyes coalescing in a refracting error

       a funhouse glare of corporate beauty, 

  eyes and ears sewn on cut borders.

        The logic of fall, to wither in grace,

with a biting itch of gravity’s transit

           Before your humped spine 

            arched against the George Washington Bridge.

              Before the corrugated dawn

          of early morning Manhattan you  

                  skipped an imaginary rope, 

            a fashioned rainbow, digging up the earth.

              it cast a shadow like an undead halo,

               just beating the sun’s fractal wheel  

                   its planetary grids splitting in sieves,

                   shade and sun trails. Too vast, too filled 

                 with pagan carnage and a hungry flower’s

                       appetite for ascetics drawing down marvels,

                    subordinating the solar system 

                                to a holy skin deep.

                  it cast a shadow like Barbie’s hairshirt.

                          About the shadow: I never saw it. 

                          I believe it was there.

                      You were talking on evening’s points,

            light on the Hudson, not in the shade’s

           transit, bright red hair on bone.

             One day a man who claimed he caught fireflies 

            with his tongue, waist bent from a car accident,

            always on about picking a lottery ticket

            from a dead man’s pocket, or one injured 

             in trafficthat he would—said flatly:

            “Her heart exploded.”  You weren’t there

         to hear.  We talked about it for three weeks.


John Thomas Allen wants to be a cat man instead of a cat lady, thus engendering a gender revolution. He likes Christian tarot, JK Huysman’s, and Charles Wright. He’s been in Arsenic Lobster Journal, Sein Und Werden, and Grey Sparrow Journal.


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