Every Broken Thing

Backbone Blues
The Poetry Of Lance McKnight
Backbone Blues

In this fall, only the hands
survive. Bone
against bone, solids crash
and grate until dust.

Fingers mesh, blood excretes
from every pore. The tongue
protrudes from mouth to air,
every bud alive. The mind

clouds, tears needed
to dissolve this earthen
ash. Palms are dry,
they, too, need light
to survive. Wind comes
in gusts, forcing the two
hands to tumble en masse
from one edge of the room

to another. Like an unclaimed
weed that never stops.
The hands have now separated.
One holds a spike against its own

palm while the other slams
fast the sledge that drives
the iron deep through flesh
into wood. They are now alone.

One free. The other
learning to scream.