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Anne Pierson Wiese

Big leg bones
of cows sawed
into round sections
that when broiled
erupt thick burps
of marrow—hidden
elixir heated until
it turns to cream,
loses its spark,
becomes edible.

A spinal tap is when
they push a long
hollow needle into
the base of your spine
and draw out drops
of cerebrospinal fluid
one by one.  It should
look like water,
the doctor says
from behind.  If
it comes out cloudy
that’s a bad sign.

My bones.
White calcium
rib spokes,
finger splinters,
shin swords.
Do you see how
pale they are
on the X-ray,
the doctor asks,
here and here?

On my uncle’s farm
we talked at breakfast
of how we’d cook
marrow bones
for dinner and laughed
at ourselves for planning
another meal before
finishing the one
in front of us.
The richness of choosing
your fancy is what
leaks away at last.

We forget
our bones
are alive.