Mass Bouquet


horrified ghost faces bob in & out of candlelight silhouette
& circle a hole punched in the wall covered with chicken wire

we are far far underground beneath a cathedral older than ancestry
I’m annoyed by the crowd before remembering I’m part of the crowd

a tall ghost body cranes his neck to see & gasps
the sound heaving through everyone around him

like bees we are easily agitated
until we too idly gaze at the carefully organized skeletons

mass bubonic plague graves skull on skull on skull
& someone laughs at death so organically displaced from our fleshy masses

prisoners de-fleshed twelve thousand dead & stacked their bones
before more prisoners de-fleshed the prisoners when they caught ill & so on

I ask the tour guide if the skeletons are real or reproductions & he laughs
why would we trick you?
how to describe the abjection of counting femurs fleshed fleshed fleshed
the jawbones stacked in concentric patterns arranged for illegal photographs

a stone redmossbloom of decay & cultivated bereavement

Hannah V Warren