143 – Marrow


Twelve turkey vultures keened
and circled their spiral
staircase slow eyes on the dog
hunting with us the dead
wood and snags along the bank
in this empty land of rim
rock and closed oases, hidden
but for their eyes.
The bone I packed in
on my hip, deer joint
pried loose last fall in autumn’s
pale glow. Gleaming Bowie blade.
Flesh weighted, packed up, hauled out
in shifts, a last remnant for the dog to gnaw. I thought
of them at the fire, the twelve,
and their fine feathers
we found, gathered in light
handfuls, burned as tinder.
Each brittle hollow filled
with guttering blue heat
held in place a moment longer
before leafing fully into flame
sending sparks out up
into the emptiness above.

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