On Preparing Skeletons for the Closet

If the hacksaw had been used
there wouldn’t be so much                (yes it is unbelievable, but ask the sky to drop;
evidence of bone in the meat              the poem will wait; go on)

                                                (of course we speak in metaphor;
                                                of course I know, there’s nothing sexy
                                                about asking you to read this)

to soil our palates with the taste of sediment—dirt eaters, all of us, dirt eaters, us all-
that awkward fender bender in the mouth,

                                                                                      a stage, a skip-out phase

                                                 leaping, another one;
                                                 we cannot dare to believe

           one might, actually,
           nourish one or the other, another one:

half-eaten animal as careless with its
property as to become the dinner
                 of a gunned party:                (it takes a militia at my temple to slow down)

           Rally Rally Rally Rally Rally until you know everyone
           and everyone’s strength, how in a crowd, you can still separate yourself
           from the better of them, from the hull of their influence.

Travis Blankenship’s poetry appears or is forthcoming from A cappella Zoo, Artifice, and Smash Cake magazines among others. He has been the recipient of a Tin House Writer’s Workshop scholarship, the Jim Wayne Miller Poetry Prize, a Geoffrey McClevly Memorial Award, and a Bondurant Prize in poetry. He founded the Goldenrod Poetry Festival now in its 6th year at Western Kentucky University. Currently, he is senior editor of the Yalobusha Review and lives in Mississippi.