The 2River View 26.4 (Summer 2022)

Aurora Bones

The Sky Is More Tornado-ish Since I Got Myself So Far Away

Wyoming is a lonely state, and I am deep in it.
Deer vertebrae and sunflowers glint and glisten in the dry landscape.
Here, rocks are great white teeth uprooted,
flung from some giant reptilian mouth.

When my father dies, I will wear a dress of gray feathers.
I will sit upside-down in rocking chairs, speak often of bravery,
paint pinecones with peanut butter and glitter,
hang these on orange strings in trees near his grave.

The geysers here are the exact color of Spumoni ice cream.
His voice is a lost ribbon flipping quiet violence through the air.
And in this, the most family-friendly of all places,
razor-blue beetles jump into springs of near-boiling water,
and live.

When I Dressed Like a Lion, You Dressed Like a Girl

I was afraid to tell my parents about how you were moving into me
I told them instead how I feel little pockets in my skull like caves
filled up with sky—no mind in there, just torn-up sky—empty.

I wanted to have an umbilical cord connecting us
so we would finally really share everything.
Instead, I follow my dog around the house & hug her & smell her paws
& make her promise to not leave me, ever.

I want to live in a cabin in the woods, but not this cabin, not these woods.
I want to grow claws & fangs, give up speech.
Even better, wish I were a yellow flower.

I would gladly row you down the river with tired arms forever,
squinting honey-wild eyes.
Both of us, I think, are afraid of forgetting
the way my voice sounds when it says what used to be your name.

Aurora Bones teaches English at a university in Southern Illinois. When she isn’t writing or reading, she enjoys learning to play the ukulele, planting sunflowers, or hiking in the aspen forests.

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