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Dec 2009
As the axe handle twirls in my hands,
spins, hangs over my head-
it is all kinetic energy now turned
potential.  My deltoids arc the blade
to apex.  Backswing completed,
it pauses, then back down its arc
it sets a single tooth to split
an old bone of a once living tree.
In the wood chips, in the hair
strands of this future kindling

I imagine human bones cracking-
femurs and ulnas and mandibles,
crushed under a Ball Pein hammer-
powdered fine and white.

Snow flurries
spot my canvas sleeves,
crystals find my fingers, dust my hair-
quickly melt.
I gather the split wood in burlap.
On the porch, I turn back once more-
see Geese swoon low the valley's lake,
hear the ringing through the pines,
then turn the latch,
go inside to burn old bones.

-Jay Bain, 2009
Jay Bain
Written by
Jay Bain
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