the bones want to fly, 1999

when you are old
your skin will be delicate
fragile as tissue paper
my breath will rustle against it
my fingers will slip over the folds
under the creases
slide into the secret places
(I am always discovering
new secrets within you)
the bones beneath that skin
will be light bird-bones
they will want to go up
want to fly sunward
they will glow through
the skin, at night, when we lie
beneath the covers
it is too warm here
you will cry
I am burning up
I will coax you to stay
I will lick sweat from your pale neck
and blow on that shivering skin
I will lick my way down
(I have done this so many
many times already)
I will lick circles on your sunken chest
I will lick all the way down, and take you
entirely inside my mouth
until you lose yourself
until you are no longer bound
by earth and skin and bone
(I have done this, and will
a thousand thousand times…)
I fall asleep
my head resting on your stomach
one fragile arm flung over
your thin thigh, and hip
(it is not much to hold you down)
you will lie there in the dark
hand buried in my silvered hair
listening to the wind
through the trees

M.A. Mohanraj
June 19, 1999