Ray McNiece

We keep digging up bones
putting them together and
making them dance for us —
the wealthy matron of Pompeii
surrounded by erotic urns,
wine stained, her lips dust,
her finger bone orgy of one;
the gothic scurvied monastic,
found under Victorian pipe
under Westminster Abbey,
limping six stone weight
cursing time’s footfalls;
the teeth of at least fifteen
different homo sapiens
probably washed together
by a flood, just their teeth
so to speak, 47 thousand
years ago and found
in China’s Fuyon Cave
still chattering their hunger;
and the neatly plaster
wrapped and stacked
young couples, plague victims,
honeymoon death bedded,
found in ancient Rome’s
Tomb X. We want to piece
them together, put them under
bright lights and make them tell
something we think we don’t
already know, how we are
also going to end up under
real estate with our micro
brew bottles, our designer
handbags and plastic shoes,
never seeing what hit us.



RAY NCNIECE is the author of nine books of poems and monologues, most recently Love Song for Cleveland, a collaboration with photographer Tim Lachina. Called “the American Mayakovsky,” he has toured Russia with Yevgeny Yevtushenko, appeared on Good Morning, Russia and performed at the Moscow Polytech, the Russian Poets’ Hall of Fame.